We’ve come a long way with western medicine and we continue to make improvements every day. From advancements in surgery to brand new superscription drugs, our traditional medical fields have never been more state-of-the-art. Both naturopathic medicine and western medicine are valuable practices in the business of healing, yet they differ significantly from one another. If you’ve tried conventional medicine to cure your ailments without any luck, perhaps trying a different school of thought will make the difference. Here are 4 ways that our Portland naturopathic medicine can be a successful alternative to traditional western medicine.
The biggest difference between naturopathic and traditional western medicine is their overall approach. Conventional medicine is crucial in any sort of emergency situation, like when there’s severe bodily disruption such as broken bones or torn ligaments. But for problems that aren’t as cut and dry as a fractured arm, naturopathy thrives.
Naturopathic medicine has a preventative style, using natural treatments such as acupuncture, homeopathy, herbalism, diet and lifestyle counseling. The aim of a naturopathic doctor (ND) is to get at the root of what’s causing the problem or issue, rather than treating the symptom. For example, if you have a chronic rash that won’t seem to go away, western medicine might prescribe you with a cream that treats the rash itself. In the same situation, a naturopathic approach would be to find out why the rash is there in the first place, investigate what your body is communicating with the rash, and act accordingly to honor your body’s request and solve the rash problem at the cause.
Many people have reported trying “everything” to solve a complication, attempting different prescriptions, creams, ointments, or medicines to find nothing that worked. It wasn’t until these same people reported looking at what was creating the problem itself that they found a solution to their symptoms.
Working With the Body
A naturopathic doctor works with the body, rather than fighting the symptoms is produces. Generally speaking, the western view of medicine is that the body is a machine that starts falling apart over time, creating a band-aid approach. Prescriptions are applied or medicine is taken to fight off the symptoms of the illness or disease, rather than addressing their cause. Our Portland Naturopathic Doctors see the body as a living, intelligent organism, that wants to thrive. If a symptom is showing up, that’s a signal that something isn’t working. The naturopathic doctor strives to work with the person, their body, and heal them as a whole being. They use treatments that are natural and engage the body’s self-healing abilities, rather than address just the symptoms themselves. This creates an overall approach to living healthy rather than just addressing one issue at a time while ignoring the whole health of the individual.
Another reason naturopathy has been such a successful path for people is the unique relationship between the ND and their patient. The naturopathic doctor spends a significant amount of time getting to know their patient and all aspects of their health problems and history. A partnership is created during their visits, and the practitioner is trained to know what questions to ask. The naturopath’s aim is to get a complete picture of the patient’s life and to see any and all elements that may be creating health risks. Certain things in our lives may seem, at first, unrelated to our health, yet the naturopath knows they can somehow be connected in different ways. If a traditional doctor is only looking at the problem itself, a key component of what’s causing the symptom might be missed.
A Practice Centuries Old
The fundamental idea of naturopathy is thousands of years old, practiced many centuries ago by the Chinese well before the birth of modern medicine. It’s also relatively simple. The school of thought of naturopathy is that diseases can be categorized into one or more of three categories:
- The body or mind is lacking something it requires to thrive, like nutrition, love, oxygen, etc.
- The body or mind is overexposed or is over consuming too much of something it doesn’t need, use, or is toxic to it’s health.
- The body or mind doesn’t have proper synergy, meaning it can’t discharge waste, nourish with fresh blood, or respond neurologically to a stimulus.
Ancient medicine has been healing people for centuries. If our conventional method of science and medicine hasn’t been working, which is only a few hundred years old, perhaps giving something a try that’s been around a little longer can make the difference you need.
If you’ve been having little luck trying traditional western medicine, and think a naturopathic approach will make a difference for you, we would love to help. Contact us today with any questions or inquiries about our practice or your health.