Supporting Natural Therapies is to Support Health
It’s not just about supporting Natural Therapy; it’s all about supporting Health.
The question if Natural Therapy is a valid form of complementary Therapy, which should be taught at University level, shouldn’t even be a question.
The question should be;
"how can we support health and how can patients be best treated with the best possible outcomes".
Once those questions are asked, the obvious answer is that Natural Complementary Medicine needs to be part of the whole medical system for the benefit of the patient.
The present medical system, as good and advanced it is, has a lot of well known problems;
long waiting lists in Hospitals, not enough Doctors, consultations too short, insufficient answers and support for the patients, side- effects from prescription drugs.
At no time am I saying that there is anything wrong with the medical system, it does exactly what it is suppose to do, unfortunately, for many patients, that’s not enough. That’s why we need complementary medicine to take the burden of the medical system.
Most of the efforts of the medical system are in fighting a disease, if no disease can be diagnosed, the patient may get the all clear, but unfortunately their symptoms may persist.
If a disease is diagnosed, the next step is a prescription drug, and usually no further advice to better ones health is given.
Most of the efforts of the Natural system are in supporting health and in preventative measures.
These 2 efforts combined, should be the perfect marriage, and a constructive way to help a patient receive the best of both worlds.
To make sure that patients have trust in the complementary field of medicine, proper training through accredited colleges or universities are essential.
It also needs to be pointed out, esp to the general public, that people should only ever consult a practitioner who is accredited with one of the main Natural Therapy Associations, such as the ATMS.
In addition I would like to see study outlines posted on colleges web-sites of their accredited Natural Therapy Courses.
That by itself would demonstrate, how long, intensive and scientific those studies are, and therefore once again will demonstrate the validity of accredited Natural Therapists to the general public and to some within the medical world, who may have been un-informed about the quality of therapy a Natural Therapist can provide.
Natural Therapies have literally hundreds of treatment modalities, but most of those are sub-categories to a main category. Unfortunately, a lot of the criticism against Natural Therapies are generated by an over-generalisation of Natural Therapies; eg; the typical statement , “all Natural Therapies are quackery”.
What are the main Natural Therapy Categories?
I don’t want to put myself into hot water … therefore I will list only a few, feel free to suggest other categories and the reasons for it.
Acupuncture – Chiropractic - Naturopathy - Nutrition - Medical Herbalist -Homeopath – Remedial Massage Therapies -
One has to understand, that, by example, to be a Naturopath, one automatically may specialise or study additional treatment modalities, such as Kinesiology, Life Blood Analysis, Iridology etc.
Furthermore, even other main categories, like Herbalist or Homeopathy are usually included within a Naturopath Diploma or Bachelor of Applied Science in Naturopathy.
To stress the point further, why Natural Therapies are essential in modern Healthcare, one needs to know a little bit more about the difference within the primary field of Medicine, eg; about General Medical Practitioners and Complementary Medicine Practitioners.
I think it is important to stress and accept the fact, that Natural Therapies are complementary to the prime medical field of treatment,
… and simply for this reason, there is, or should be, no competition.
A general practitioner within a standard consultation has hardly the time to take a medical history, let alone treat the patient in a holistic way, or giving diet and lifestyle advice. A patient presenting with multiple symptoms often is treated only for the main symptom. If however all medical tests come out negative, which should be good news, the patients continue to have their symptoms, and more or less are forced to see a Natural Therapist.
Naturopathy has changed a lot over the years, these days a new patient within a 1 hour consultation, will get a thorough physical examination, will have to fill out a comprehensive questionnaire about past present and family medical history, in fact all information which are needed to get a holistic medical picture of a patient.
In most cases the practitioner will check the patient’s prescription and over the counter drug list, as all to often drugs are taken which are not compatible with each other.
Once all the basics are completed, some more tests may be ordered or done, including natural ways of diagnostic procedures.
The initial therapy outline will usually be comprised of specific lifestyle modification, diet advice, stress level reduction advice and possible some nutritional supplements, herbal medication or a possible manual therapy such as massage or chiropractic.
All measures taken by a Natural Therapist are to support the patient’s health, the main emphasis is in educating the patient how to prevent further decline of health or possible disease all together. Some treatment is aimed at preventing or lessens side effects from drug therapy.
The medical system, to be efficient and to support patients, needs to embrace complementary therapy. It has to recognise that most patients come to a Natural Therapist because they like to feel and be healthy, and they want answers they don’t get from within the medical system.
If Doctors would provide all the care a patient needs, those patients wouldn’t go anywhere else.
Years ago, I handed out a questionnaire to patients to find out why they consulted a Natural Therapist.
Most patients told me anyhow, but I thought it would be a good idea to collect “evidence”, and I had planned to make that into a book. As things go … I didn’t do it ..
in retrospect, I would like to urge every practitioner to collect appropriate evidence,
……. because that evidence will prove 3 things:
1. Patients are not satisfied with normal general medical practice.
2. After a consultation with a medical Doctor, patients didn’t feel better and their problems were not resolved by medical practice.
3. After a consultation with a Natural Therapist, the patients felt better with improved quality of life and often even cured, because they understood their problems and had learned how to live a healthier life.
By the way, as a professional Natural Therapist, it is important to send the patients back to the Medical practitioner, esp if further blood test can reveal that symptoms have been resolved and health had improved.
A call for Support!
I call on everyone, patients, natural and medical practitioners, to voice their support for Natural Therapy.
Fortunately there are many Medical practitioners who recognise the value of complementary therapy.
Anyone, who for whatever reasons believes that Natural Therapies should not be practiced, should give specific reasons, and “All Natural Therapy is Quackery”, is not a specific reason.
Furthermore, the general public should know, that Natural Therapists are as disgusted as Medical Practitioners if it comes to fraudulent practices or dubious natural curative claims.
Let is be also said, that in every profession, no matter which, are those few who usually for monetary reasons have become corrupted.
And finally, we welcome any constructive criticism or suggestion how to improve Natural Therapy practices or the Medical System for that matter.
Questions to answer: (Suggestion only)
- For a Patient:
Your reason, for considering to visit a Natural Therapist, such as an Acupuncturist or Naturopath?
Have you been disappointed by a visit to a Medical Doctor?
- For a Natural Practitioner:
What do you have to offer, which is not offered by the medical system?
- For a Medical Practitioner:
Would you be comfortable to refer patients to an accredited Natural Therapist for health advice?
What would you like to see improved within the Natural Therapy System?
- For Natural Colleges:
What would you like to see improved with the Health System in general?
- For Association:
What are your goals to improve the Natural Therapy Health Care System?
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Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.