IS Naturopathic Medicine Right for Me?
There is a growing interest in different forms of medicine, healthcare and methods for maintaining health and longevity, as well as preventing and treating illness. Some of this interest seems to stem from a distrust in conventional medicine and government organizations, while others have long standing health concerns that the conventional medical system has failed to help them with. No matter the reason, more people are purchasing supplements, changing their diets, and starting exercise regimens, and searching out other healthcare options for their symptoms.
Conventional Medical Care vs. Naturopathic Medicine
As this shift continues towards including other healthcare options into our society, there is one thing that health consumers must, above all else, understand:
Naturopathic medicine (or any holistic medicine) is a completely different system of medicine than the conventional medical system most of us have been brought up with in our society.
Naturopathic medicine is NOT simply the use of natural substances, such as herbs, or dietary supplements in order to get rid of a problem. The very idea of “the problem,” is seen from a completely different perspective.
In many cases, “the problem” from a naturopathic perspective is the suppression of symptoms for such a long time that it is unclear what the heck is going on with a person. For instance, when a person has take pain killers to get rid of a headache, for years, and antibiotics for infections, and medications to help them sleep, and maybe a steroid for an intermittent skin condition. . . then they go to the naturopathic doctor because they don’t have any energy. . .
There is a deeper problem than the adrenal glands being overtaxed from years of stress, or their circadian rhythm being disrupted because of REM sleep deprivation caused by sleep medications, or lack of healthy gut bacteria due to antibiotic use.
All of these things are probably going on. . . but there’s something else even more fundamental.
The fundamental problem is the inability to listen to the body, and understand what the initial symptom(s) that led that person to search out a treatment, was actually trying to tell them.
Listening to the Body - Giving Her What She is Asking for
The body isn’t ever - EVER - trying to tell you that you have a pain killer deficiency and need to take pain killers to bring yourself back into balance.
Likewise, the body isn’t ever trying to tell you that you have a sleep medication deficiency.
And generally, an acute illness like a respiratory infection, flu, or cold will resolve on its own, and doesn’t need antibiotics (of course there are exceptions - most of which are the end result of years of not taking care of oneself properly).
The body is always trying to bring itself back into balance. She wants you to be healthy, and given the appropriate support, will be able to bring this about. The question becomes, “how well can you listen and respond to your own body’s communication to you?”
When You’re Ready for Naturopathic Medicine
Most people with chronic health conditions are unfamiliar with the ways the body is communicating with them, or even the idea that their symptoms could be valuable if listened to.
Most people come to naturopathic medicine or other holistic care out of desperation. It’s the last stop.
It’s too bad, because if it would have been the first stop, months, years, even decades of suffering may have been avoided.
But naturopathic and all holistic care requires ONE thing that is a major deterrent for many, many people: Responsibility.
Naturopathic medicine, at its very foundation, depends on the education of the patient in techniques, skills, and practices of healthy living that they will utilize in their life. In essence, you become your own doctor - able to understand what is happening in your own body, and learn tools to keep yourself healthy.
Naturopathic medicine is an authentic health ensurance plan; it ensures that you know how to keep yourself healthy. If this is what you are looking for in your healthcare, then you’re ready to pursue naturopathic medicine.