Difference between naturopathic medicine and conventional (AKA allopathic) medicine
Thank you so much for dropping in to read my new website. Here I will share many insights that I have garnered through my Naturopathic medical practice. So read and enjoy and when you are curious or in need of help come in to see me by phoning 604-980-4181.
A popular and great question that you often ask me is: what is the difference between naturopathic medicine and conventional (AKA allopathic) medicine? I will discuss this query in terms of the approaches to disease taken by each of these medical systems.
The differences on how each of these medical systems approach disease are quite clear and understandable too.
Most of you have attended an allopathic/conventional medical doctor who set out to diagnose and treat your illness. Then you probably experienced various examinations such as a physical exam, lab tests, X-rays and so forth. These were done to figure out the disease that you had. Once the diagnosis was rendered, your MD likely prescribed a treatment to cure or control it.
Since, you are very familiar with this approach, you may not recognize its basis. So consider, this common allopathic approach is built on two assumptions:
i – Disease exists as a thing in and of itself.
ii – The way to help people and improve their lives is to treat disease by eradicating it or controlling it.
When you take some time to inspect this belief, you will soon recognize some of its repercussions.
- First, if you are only feeling off your game, but don’t have a disease, this approach offers little assistance. It does not offer to improve your life prior to declining into a state of disease.
- Secondly, this perspective does not directly embrace prevention. Instead, allopathic medicine will advise more general lifestyle changes. There is also an assumption that all people will eventually get a disease. Subsequently, the allopathic approach often offers treatment for that which has not taken shape.
- Thirdly, the standpoint of controlling disease tends to entrain practitioners to a controlling view of human functions. It becomes very tempting to intercede before the body has had an opportunity to regulate itself back to balance or health. This perspective is supported by pharmacologic advances that can affect all major body systems. This can lead to over use of corrective medicines for any system whose function falls outside of the normal range.
Let’s now inspect the naturopathic medical approach to disease and healing with which you may be unfamiliar. This approach is based on assumptions that diverge from the above.
i – Disease does not exist as an individual entity. Disease is the result of a misdirection of normal body systems, such that they lose their natural coordinated functions to self-destructive patterns.
ii – It is essential to address the causation of the disease which is the disruptor. This allows it to be removed and for the body to restore balance to its systems’ functions.
When you take time to ponder on these assumptions, you will see the implications.
First, disruption of function presents with symptoms, small or large, prior to advanced disease. Quite possibly, these disruptions can be detected by refined methods that naturopathic doctors developed overtime. This may ultimately allow for treatment at earlier stages and form a more health building approach in addition to the allopathic approach.
Secondly, this approach tends to avoid micro-managing of the physiology while still paying attention to lab test results. Naturopathic treatments and Naturopathic medicine may be demanding as they rely on patients’ participation in their own therapies. You will need to work on your health to build health.
You can see that both allopathic and naturopathic medicines have advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses. Yet through the clarification of the two viewpoints, you can understand how they can be complementary to each other or at times one will be better suited to a condition than the other. Your understanding is the key to making the best choice for building your own health.