SEGMENT TWO: [09/12/2013]
The Future of Medicine – Naturopathic
The motive behind QiConnex’s first post for Holistix Connex was to introduce the Practice of Naturopathic Medicine and then have myself, HipConnex, further discuss with you the phenomenon that is occurring with increasing frequency across the globe, but with particularly prominent effects being evident in both North America and Western Europe. This is in regards to the world of medicine and, specifically, the general public’s response to its current state. Frankly, not many people are happy with it – and that is not to be judged as right or wrong. The importance of this general consensus depends on why exactly these individuals aren’t happy, as well as – even more importantly – how they will respond to their sense of dissatisfaction, hopefully not having already morphed into a feeling of indifference.
Conventional, or what is colloquially termed ‘Western’, medicine has done magnificent things since the beginning of its modern existence, ranging from discovering one of the most well-known antibiotics in penicillin – as was conducted by Canadian Physician, Alexander Fleming, which partially makes up for a diabetic person’s inability to internally synthesize insulin – all the way to the science of genomics and its role in influencing a Physician’s family planning appointment that concerns one of their patients as well as their significant others. This style of medicine is the predominant medical practice used when treating the discombobulated individuals that were mentioned above– again, specifically Canadians, Americans and Western Europeans. But why not instead work towards preventing something? Why is there such a steadfast, unyielding emphasis – whether it is politically, in regards to resources, or with respect to media – on curing a multitude of ailments that vary in form and in degree of seriousness when there is a positive, alternative approach? Alternative Medicine, namely Naturopathic Medicine, is what I am alluding to and I would like to defend my position in why that is the case.
The budding integrative medicine – conventional biomedicine and alternative medicine intertwined – supports my above assertion that naturopathic medicine is increasingly being viewed as a legitimate alternative, or at least a conjunctive element in that many holes remain in the conventional medicine practice that could be better-serviced through naturopathic means. In 2014, less than a few months from now, U.S. physicians will be able to be accredited in integrative medicine. With the two seemingly-opposing branches of medicine showing signs of upholding a potentially-long-lasting partnership, it is important to understand at least some of the differences between the two.
What differentiates a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) from a conventional Medical Doctor (cM.D.) can be expressed – to a degree, but not, in any way, completely – through their different emphases with respect to the following characteristics:
1) An N.D. approaches patient treatment from a holistic or comprehensive angle that has them exploiting the underlying cause that is negatively affecting the patient, while a cM.D. applies their resources towards treating and eliminating a disease’s symptoms.
2) Since the patient is viewed as a complete system in the eyes of an N.D., striving for whole-patient wellness serves as the objective; it is common practice for an N.D. to collaborate and continuously communicate, back and forth, with healthcare professionals that are practicing under a different branch of medicine, whether it being conventional medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic medicine, physiotherapy, et cetera. In many cases, the same cannot be said with cM.D.’s although, again, the surging practice of integrative medicine continues to gain traction within the medical realm. It is common practice for cM.D.’s to seek assistance from doctors that practice within the same branch of medicine when regarding their own patients’ care. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen when most cM.D.’s will cease to be reluctant in referring their patients to healthcare professionals outside of their own branch of medicine.
3) The patient-doctor relationship is generally stronger between an N.D. and their patients versus a cM.D. and their patients as the initial outlook on the disease – whether acute or chronic – is that it is a process, not an entity. The N.D. develops a relationship with each and every patient that is unique as the treatment plan is customized in response to the specific needs of that individual. It is often expressed by those who seek medical help from cM.D.’s – either family or walk-in doctors – that they will be prescribed pharmaceutical medication after a minimum number of questions are asked by that same medical professional, followed by their being, more or less, ‘dismissed’. As a patient, you owe it to yourself to be as well-informed as possible when engaging in discussion with your doctor. For N.D.’s it is great to see when a patient is not entirely at loss when treatment plans are being communicated. It will be repeated by Holistix Connex and its individual members throughout the series, without exception, that self-agency is so very important towards ensuring continued good health.
The primary goal of N.D.’s is to treat the mind, body and soul, which will in turn optimize patient care. Furthermore the Naturopathic community strives to empower patients to positively influence their own health and wellness; patient-initiative is a powerful tool that should not be ignored, but instead used to the greatest degree. We hope that what has been discussed today has reiterated that viewpoint and truly resonated with You.
We would like to thank you, once again, for taking time to read this and are looking forward to your supporting the initiative.
To a healthier and happier You,