Despite our best efforts and intentions, we do fall sick from time to time, for we live in the real world, where stress, bad habits and microbes do overwhelm us occasionally.
When that happens, we can either turn to conventional or allopathic medicine with its standard toolbox of “cut, burn and poison” quick fixes or to natural medicine for time-tested and holistic ways to get well.
At VitaKids, we firmly believe that, with the exception of trauma and emergency medicine, conventional medicine pales in comparison to natural medicine if one is truly seeking genuine recovery from ill-health. Natural medicine is gentler and works harmoniously with the body to achieve lasting healing results. It is usually cheaper too, when all factors are considered. Conventional medicine often leaves behind a trail of side effects, many of which can be potentially quite harmful.
Consider the following principles of natural medicine and decide for yourself if it makes better sense to pursue the natural route to recovery:
First do no harm: Primum No Nocere
Illness is a purposeful process of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the life force attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complementary to and synergistic with this healing process. The physician’s actions can support or antagonize the actions of the vis medicatrix naturae – the healing power of Nature. Therefore, methods designed to suppress symptoms without removing the underlying causes are considered harmful and to be avoided or minimized.
The healing power of nature: Vis Medicatrix Naturae
The body has an inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician’s role is to facilitate this process, to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to establish or restore a healthy internal and external environment.
Identify and treat the cause: Tolle Causam
Illness does not occur without cause. Underlying causes of disease must be discovered and removed or treated before a person can recover completely from illness. Symptoms express the body’s attempt to heal, but are not the cause of disease. Symptoms, therefore, should not be suppressed by treatment. Causes may occur on many levels including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The physician must evaluate fundamental underlying causes on all levels, directing treatment at root causes rather than at symptomatic expression.
Heal the whole person: Tolle Totum
Health and disease are conditions of the whole organism, a whole involving the complex interaction of many factors. The naturopathic physician must treat the whole person by taking these factors into account. The harmonious functioning of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects are essential to recovery from and prevention of disease. This requires a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.
The physician as teacher: Docere
A cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value. The physician’s major role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for their own health. The physician is a catalyst for healthful change, empowering and motivating the patient to assume responsibility. It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately creates/accomplishes healing. Teaching with hope, knowledge, and understanding, the physician acts to enable patients to heal.
Prevention: Prevention is the best cure
The ultimate goal of any health care system should be prevention of disease. This is accomplished through education and promotion of life-habits that create good health. The physician learns to assess risk factors and to sharpen their deductive reasoning, and understand the patient’s circumstances. Appropriate interventions are then sought to avoid further harm or risk to the patient. Building health works better and more surely than fighting disease.
It is worth noting that these were the same principles taught by Hippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine, more than 2,300 years ago. All conventionally-trained medical doctors (MDs), are required to take the Hippocratic Oath when they begin their professional practice. How many of these MDs actually subscribe to these principles in their medical practice? Modern western doctors use primarily drugs, chemotherapy, vaccines, radiation and surgery to treat their patients, with their host of side effects, violating the first four principles of medicine as taught by Hippocrates. And most MDs hardly spend any time with their patients to teach them the true cause and prevention of disease and how proper dietary and lifestyle habits can help them avoid disease. Obviously, there is no incentive to do so as it would not be profitable for their practices. Hence they violate the last two principles as well. The easiest and fastest way to make money from their patients is to prescribe a pill or procedure for every ill.