Traditional vs. Orthodox Medicine
The Best of Both Worlds
Many times in a working week I am asked what doctors think of 'natural medicine' I have to reply that the majority of orthodox health care professionals have a closed mind to alternative methods of health care. Many people expect that one day there will be a joining together of the orthodox doctor and the traditional naturopath. This could be a difficult marriage. For the major acute traumas one is much better off going to see a doctor or the casualty section of the hospital. For everyday feelings of being out of sorts and longer-term chronic complaints, a naturopath can be of great help in getting to the bottom of the problem. A naturopath can treat the real causes of the problem rather than just the symptoms, as is often the case with long term illness. I am the first to refer a patient to a doctor if I feel it is beyond my field of treatment. It is very important that everyone in the health care arena know where to draw the line when determining if natural therapies can help a person and where the person in need would be better cared for by another type of treatment.
This division between the old and the new systems of treatment goes back to the Middle Ages. Back then it was the early church that dispensed herbs to heal the sick. The villagers would go up to the monastery and get their medicines. No doubt, the church's involvement with herbs gave it a magical aura and produced a strong impression of mystery. The church wielded absolute power over all healing and if you didn't toe the line you didn't receive help. The story goes that one day the cleaning lady from the village saw that the plants growing in the gardens in the monastery were the same ones she had growing in her backyard at home. She decided she would give them out free of charge, unknowingly dealing the church a destabilising blow in doing so. The church had to do something to get its power back. It claimed the woman was a witch, in league with the devil. "That will stop the people going to see her" they thought, and "if we burn a few at the stake that will really show them we mean business." This was the start of the division between those on the inside of the establishment and those on the outside that still exists today.
Today the new true sciences of bio-physics, bio-energetics, quantum mechanics, polarity reflexes, geo-magnetics, resonance frequencies and space-data evaluation have begun to show, to prove even, to the satisfaction of the most die-hard 'sceptics', that yesterday's magic is today's scientific breakthrough. What a pity naturopaths are still jeered at because their knowledge medicines may have been gained outside of a university. But naturopaths are no longer in the minority. There are millions of people all over the world who are looking for simple and less costly means of maintaining and improving health and wellbeing. As an official World Health Organisation (WHO, Geneva) publication, "The Promotion and Development of Traditional Medicine", 1978 put it:
"Traditional medicine is the sum total of all the knowledge and practices, whether explicable or not, used in diagnosis, prevention and elimination of physical, mental or social imbalance and relying exclusively on practical experience and observation handed down from generation to generation, whether verbal or in writing. Traditional medicine might also be considered as a solid amalgamation of dynamic medical know-how and ancestral experience."
When the patient is put first and their needs held uppermost - a good health professional will be a useful guide, especially when that need lays in another practitioner’s care.