Many of today’s medical professionals are slowly integrating many of the concepts and principles of naturopathy into their vast array of empirical evidence-based treatment regimen. This underscores the importance of a patient’s belief system as a major consideration in the choice of treatment options.
Why Naturopathic Medicine?
What sets naturopathic medicine from conventional medicine is that naturopathic practitioners focus on a holistic approach to addressing the patient’s health problems. This includes an understanding of the patient’s physical and mental status as well as his emotional and social wellbeing. His spirituality is also considered as a major factor towards his complete healing.
Conventional medicine focuses more on one aspect of the patient’s health. Usually it is focused on his physical health problems as a direct cause of something organic problem inside his body. The relationship of the mind and soul in disease-causation is not really taken seriously.
Now that is rapidly changing. Because of increasing conventional healthcare costs as well as the growing incidence of more serious side effects associated with drugs and other chemical treatments, more and more people are looking for alternatives that might give them the same benefit of going to a medical practitioner yet saves them on cost and has fewer potential side effects.
Naturopathic Health Products
Since naturopathic medicine includes a wide array of therapeutic modalities such as acupuncture, herbalism, homeopathy, and nutrition and lifestyle counseling, the health products used are also varied. Nonetheless, these naturopathic health products are all based on the principle that treating the patient should be as natural as possible.
Naturopathic health products can include the following:
- Aromatherapy products
- Ayurveda products
- Detoxification products
- Energetic products
- Ergonomic equipment
- Fitness equipment
- Health foods
- Herbal products
- Massage products
- Alternative health products
- Spiritual art services
- Natural beauty products
- Natural health remedies
- Organic products
- Vitamins and minerals
- Yoga products
The Professional Practice of Naturopathic Medicine
In the past most practitioners of naturopathic medicine were largely frowned upon by the medical community. Because the practices are not yet based on evidence, many of these naturopathic processes have been met with skepticism.
Nowadays, naturopathic practitioners must be able to successfully pass the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination. However, residency training programs has much left to be desired as not all hospitals and clinics do accept naturopathic residents into their practice.
Benefits of Naturopathic Treatment
Despite the lack of solid evidence from carefully-controlled experimental and quasi-experimental studies, naturopathic practitioners believe that this alternative approach of treatment is beneficial in several ways.
- Naturopathic medicine focuses on the root cause of the disease or illness and not merely content on alleviating the symptoms.
- Naturopathic medicine uses only natural substances and other resources that can be found in the natural environment without the need for synthetic chemicals such as those found in drugs.
- Naturopathic medicine is useful in maintaining a state of general wellbeing once the initial health problem has been rectified.
- Naturopathic medicine is effective and safe for all persons of all ages.
Aside from these benefits, naturopathic medicine has also been touted to be especially useful among patients who have allergies, weight issues, arthritis, skin disorders, anxiety and depression, an enlarged prostate, back pain, premenstrual syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome, to name just a few of the more common.
Is it Right for You?
The ultimate decision to use either conventional medicine or naturopathic medicine is entirely up to the patient. Considering that some conventional medical practitioners are now slowly integrating some of the concepts and principles of naturopathic medicine into their treatment practices, patients are thus given the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of both worlds.
Although still not completely accepted by all members of the medical community, naturopathic medicine is not only an alternative to conventional medicine. It should be taken as complementary to the treatment options available in contemporary medicine.