Should you use naturopathy, aka alternative or natural medicine, or conventional medicine?
I’m a practitioner of naturopathy, which is also referred to as natural medicine or alternative medicine. The latter is an odd name if you ask me, because naturopathy has been around the longest. As far as I’m concerned, regular medicine is the alternative and we should, therefore, call it conventional or modern medicine. But I digress. People often ask me what’s the wiser choice. Using naturopathy, aka alternative medicine? Or rather conventional medicine? In this article you will find my answer to this question.
Alternative medicine or regular medicine, that is the question
I think you’d better ask another question. The better question is when to choose conventional medicine and when to choose natural medicine. For me, it’s not one or the other. Sometimes I choose one and sometimes the other. Personally, I am very happy that both exist. I know a lot of people who would probably have been dead if our modern medicine hadn’t existed, including my sister and her child.
Only recently I got to see again how wonderful it is that modern medicine exists nowadays. My husband turned out to have appendicitis. By the time they operated on him, the thing had already burst and his abdominal cavity filled up with goo. Thanks to the rapid surgery and subsequent treatment with, among other things, antibiotics, I was able to take him home a week later. As I write this, he’s cycling around somewhere in the Frisian polders.
Why I choose modern medicine
When dealing with acute, life-threatening health problems, I, therefore, choose regular medicine over naturopathy without any hesitation. In other cases, it depends on the situation. A wound, nauseous or suffering from a headache? I can usually fix that myself using traditional medicine. Dealing with a hip socket that has worn away? Hip surgery will probably allow you to move freely again for years. That sounds like a nice prospect, doesn’t it? A broken bone? Glad the emergency room exists.
There are many scenarios in which I would opt for modern medicine over natural medicine without any doubts. Things are different when it comes to chronic health problems. In the case of chronic diseases, conventional medicine often doesn’t go beyond giving the problem a name and targeting the symptoms. A chronic condition is rarely resolved in hospital.
Why I choose natural medicine
I therefore prefer to treat a chronic illness using alternative medicine. It’s rarely an easy road to travel. Not surprisingly so, of course, when considereing that a chronic condition doesn’t appear overnight. It’s often preceded by an intricate process of years, sometimes even decades or generations. As a result, the holistic approach of naturopathy is the best way to tackle a long-term illness, if you ask me.
An approach like that means us tackling many health-related issues in order to arrive at a solution. Think of nutrition, lifestyle, trauma healing, spiritual work, herbal medicine, just to name a few aspects of natural medicine. I often use plants, but they are rarely the solution an sich. They fight symptoms and break cycles, granting a person the energy to work on a solution. They usually do this without any nasty side effects, something you can’t say about most conventional drugs. The most important thing is that – although it isn’t easy – naturopathy does offer a possible solution to chronic issues.
Conventional and alternative medicine, the best of both worlds
In short, you will never hear me reject modern medicine. We should be grateful for the chances it offers. I’m amazed at the medical issues we can tackle these days. However, regular medicine is powerless against chronic illness on a regular basis and we are increasingly confronted with these type of afflictions in our modern society. The best thing about our current times is that we still have naturopathy as well. Why not make use of both?