Modern medicine can accomplish things that people mere decades ago considered to be firmly in the “hands of God.” There are
ways to treat cancer, delay what once would have been inevitable deaths, and help people endure great pain. However, as
wondrous as modern, conventional medicine is, there are just some things it can’t fix. For some illnesses and people, the
prognosis under conventional medicine can be grim and fraught with lifelong pain. Yet, that prognosis does not always have to
be the same when one goes for natural pain relief under an alternative system, such as naturopathy
Naturopathy is a medical philosophy and system that is considered an alternative to modern medicine, in the same way that
Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine are alternatives. Unlike the two examples, naturopathy is a much younger system,
appearing on historical records sometime during the 1800s. Aside from natural pain relief, the system believes in using
natural products and treatments to stimulate the body’s capacity for repairing itself. The methods and the system itself are
considered modern and “young,” but the philosophical roots and theories stem from Greek, Chinese, and Indian philosophies and
treatises on health and wellness. Naturopathy, like the more ancient systems it shares many traits with, acknowledges the
connection between lifestyle, nutrition, disease, and treatment. Only in recent decades has Western medicine actually
acknowledged this link.
The difference between the natural pain relief and treatments that naturopathy provides and that of conventional medicine is
a matter of perspective. Conventional medicine will obtain data about the problem and take steps to alleviate that problem.
This is done without concern for the entirety of the person, and only lately have the involvement of other parts of the body
played a role in diagnosis and treatment. Some practitioners and observers have noted that the philosophy and systems that
form naturopathy really are not that different from the alternative medical systems of ancient origins, aside from the lack
of what might be perceived as a “mystical” element.
Regardless of whether the patient requires natural pain relief or some sort of anti-allergic treatment, naturopathy focuses
on the entirety and treats accordingly. For example, there is a theory that attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder is
related to a lack of omega fatty acids in children’s bodies, along with the inability to absorb them properly from food. A
conventional doctor would prescribe ADHD drugs for the problem, while practitioners of naturopathy would recommend a dietary
adjustment. Granted, this approach does not always work. Then again, supporters contend, conventional medicine is not always
guaranteed to work in all cases, either.
Some people, rather than advocate one or the other, prefer to integrate the two approaches. This is, according to supporters
of naturopathy, the better option when it comes to situations that have been traumatic (physically or psychologically), or
would require surgical intervention. There are also certain conditions that simply cannot be countered by the body naturally
and require pharmacological solutions, such as angina, cancer, and congestive heart failure. Fortunately, most naturopathy
practitioners, like TCM and Ayurveda practitioners in China and India, acknowledge that no system is superior to another and
are able to work in conjunction with Western medical procedures.