Why Natural Medicine?

I've often heard variations of this question, "Why should I choose a natural doctor over my traditional MD?" Part of the answer lies in another question, "What is natural medicine?"

Natural medicine is a discipline that emphasizes the body's ability to heal itself and maintain itself at optimum health. Naturopathic doctors use herbs and foods to stimulate the body's healing processes rather than simply using drugs to treat the symptom of a disease. Simplistically, natural medicine can be thought of as wellness management rather than disease management.

So, by choosing natural medicine, a person is choosing to adopt a preventative, proactive approach to health rather than a reactive approach - waiting until a health issue arises and then seeking treatment. He or she has also made the choice to address the root cause of health issues rather than just treat the symptoms. That's not to say that natural medicine doesn't treat symptoms; it does. For example, a person committed to natural medicine may take St. Johns Wort instead of a synthetic pharmaceutical drug to combat symptoms of depression.

That's also not to say that a person choosing natural medicine has to reject traditional medicine. This isn't an either/or situation. Natural medicine and traditional allopathic medicine can and should exist side by side, but in balance.

Naturopathic practitioners believe in the body's ability to heal itself. By focusing on strengthening and balancing the body's systems - immune, nervous, hormone, and detoxification - healing occurs and optimal health is restored. Since naturopaths approach each patient holistically, they look at uncovering and treating underlying imbalances, such as nutrition, rather than simply treating the presenting health symptom. Treating the symptom may be a quick fix band aid, but addressing the underlying causes will help the body return to its natural state of optimal health.

Natural medicine isn't a silver bullet, magical fix approach. A pharmaceutical may provide quick relief from a symptom, but does it provide a cure? Maybe, maybe not. However, great results through natural medicine can come from positive behavior changes and the persistence it requires to maintain these changes long enough for the body to respond.

If you believe in the concept of ideal health, developing optimum wellness, and disease prevention, perhaps you should consider natural medicine before your next visit to the doctor.

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