It is sad that many people have sidelined naturopathic medicine in the sphere of pseudo-science. They see naturopathic doctors as mere practitioners of quackery rather professionals who specialise on a legitimate branch of medical science. Somehow, we cannot blame them because there are certain folks who address themselves as naturopaths but whose mere expertise lies on hear-say learning rather than from an accredited university or medical college.
In our previous article about naturopathy, we have shown you how mainstream medicine incorporates scientifically proven and effective tenants of traditional and natural medicine to help patients recover from disorders and achieve better health and wellness. Doctors now call this as integrative medicine, and practitioners of such are not quack doctors but are licensed medical physicians.
Even with such fact, there are still myths of which not a few people believe about naturopathy, natural medicine, and naturopathy doctors. Some of the most common and really exorbitant ones are enumerated below:
1. Naturopathic medicine is like voo-doo or black magic.
2. Practitioners of naturopathy look like hippies because they practice what hippies believe.
3. NDs or doctors of naturopathy studied only from handed-over hear-say knowledge.
4. Doctors of naturopathy rely merely on anecdotal testimonies and not on scientific and evidence-based results.
5. Naturopathy is akin to “New Age” religion.
If you are one of those who believe in these things about naturopathy and you stand by these myths, then you are likely to be up for disappointment. This is because the real medical naturopathy is nothing short of science and evidence-based medical discipline.
Naturopathic Medicine is a Licensed Profession
In Australia, medical naturopathy professionals are regulated and accredited by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA). Just like any healthcare professional, they have to finish a legitimate university or college degree (in this case, a degree on naturapathic medicine) and a relevant internship from a legitimate healthcare institution.
Doctors of naturopathic medicine believe and apply the convergence of Western (or modern) medicine and the traditional principles of Eastern (nature-oriented) medicine. Because they are medical practitioners, their aim is the same as with other physicians – that is to provide assistance in the recovery of an ailing patient and eventually help him/her maintain good health and wellness.
The good thing about naturopathic medicine is that it recognises the various aspects of the human person as contributory factors to the body’s natural healing capability and journey towards optimum health. The physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and even spiritual aspects are all taken into consideration. It applies the following principles in its pursuit to help the patient achieve wellness:
1. No harm should be inflicted on the body or any of its organs. As much as possible, no or less intrusion and side-effects should occur. It encourages and enforces that natural capability of the human body to heal itself.
2. Determine the root cause of the ailment. Naturopathy is not satisfied with providing relief to pain and other symptoms. It aims to go to the root of what causes them, and then provide treatment and the best possible solution.
3. Your doctor is your teacher. Since naturopathy considers the human body’s natural healing capability, the patient or the person himself/herself is still the focal point and main harbinger of his/her recovery.
4. Prevention is the best cure. Naturopathists emphasize the proactive treatment of disease rather than the reactive procedure. Maintaining and reinforcing good health to avoid illness is still the best. This is done by evaluating and dealing with the historical, hereditary, and existing environmental risk factors of the patient’s susceptibility to sickness.
5. Consider the wholeness of the person when providing treatment. As mentioned, the overall aspects that contribute to human health are taken into account – physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and spiritual.
6. Encourage the body’s natural healing prowess. As explained in previous paragraphs, naturopathy aims to help the patient recover from illness and attain wellness by reinforcing the body’s natural process of healing itself.
No medical doctor wants his/her patient to remain in pain and in misery. Yet, the practice of medicine is gullible for misrepresentation and mischief by unscrupulous con-men, and naturopathy is not an exception. That is why the government has to intervene and regulate it as a certified profession that helps people in the fight against illness and in the pursuit of better health and wellness.
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