Natural medicine is hardly a novel concept in Western society. One way or another, the science of extracting and using compounds, chemicals, enzymes and proteins that occur naturally in the body has been popular for decades.
Even so, this approach to health and wellness is today one of the fastest growing global industries. In the UK alone, the sector was worth an estimated EUR 26 billion (£23 billion) in 2018 – an increase of EUR 4 billion on its value just 5 years earlier.
There are many reasons why we’re seeing this upward trend, but chief among them are either the fact that more people are now acutely interested in treating the root causes of the conditions they live with, rather than the symptoms or they are discontent with the ineffectiveness and side effects with pharmaceutical medicines.
And for those who read that last paragraph and argue that conventional medicine also treats the root cause, there is an important and fundamental difference that separates clinical treatment from natural treatment.
Broadly speaking – and accepting there are exceptions that can be argued to prove the rule – the curative power of clinical healthcare is primarily a by-product of the treatment administered rather than its intention.
What do I mean by that? Well, let’s use a simple example to illustrate it.
If you go to see your GP with lower back pain, the chances are you’ll come away with a prescription for anti-inflammatory drugs. Now, back pain can be caused by many things – for example, bad posture, a trapped nerve, a calcified disc pressing on a nerve, poor gait etc. – and it is a symptom of one and possibly more of these conditions.
The anti-inflammatory medication your GP has given you will, in all likelihood, ease the pain you’re experiencing because that is the intended benefit of the treatment. It may also treat the root cause by, for example, allowing the body to come out of spasm, freeing a nerve – but that isn’t necessarily the primary reason for prescribing the treatment.
By contrast, natural medicine largely focuses on the causative factors of the problem, and it does that by supplementing the body’s natural biology on a like-for-like basis and by using non-invasive processes and equipment to monitor ongoing health either in a specific area of the body or, in some cases, more generally.
When we think about natural medicine, it’s worth also considering the fact that our bodies were originally designed to be self-protecting. Modern life and resistance to some conditions have changed that landscape– but nevertheless, taking a more holistic approach to your health and wellbeing makes logical sense.
Top 5 tips for why you should consider taking a more natural approach to your health
1.It prevents as well as cures
Yes, we’ve already said it, but it’s worth repeating. Natural medicine, if used well, generally promotes treatment through formulas which replicate what the body produces naturally – strengthening natural defences against many conditions. In this way, potential problems are either prevented from developing in the first place or, through complementary health monitoring, identified early to give the best possible chance of reversing abnormal health trends without the need for clinical intervention.
2. There’s a decreased risk of experiencing side-effects
Read the label on many prescription drugs and you’ll see a list of potential side-effects to look out for – nausea and drowsiness are two of the more common ones, but others may include allergic reactions or swelling.
Because the ingredients in many natural products are merely replicas of chemicals your body produces on its own, there is much less chance it will react badly during treatment.
3. It’s flexible and can be geared to your condition
Clinical treatment is necessarily quite regimented. You go to see your doctor or consultant at a specific time. You’re given medication to take at a specific time, or you’re invited for treatment at a certain time. You’re recalled for a follow-up appointment to gauge progress.
To a greater or lesser extent, your treatment plan will follow a “one glove fits all” paradigm but which may be tweaked slightly depending on your need. By contrast, natural medicine is more flexible and your treatment will be geared to you as an individual.
4. It doesn’t just treat one issue
Increasingly, natural medicine is concerned with your overall health rather than simply one condition you happen to be experiencing that sent you to your doctor’s surgery.
At the Natural Doctor, for example we’re always keen to make sure we have a very good idea of our clients’ general health and wellbeing since we know that everything in the body is linked one way or another.
By choosing natural health, you’re also choosing better health overall.
5. You’re in control
Natural medicine gives you control of your health on your own terms. It means you get to choose when and how you monitor breast and heart health, how best to deal with the menopause, tackle issues like fertility and libido and hair loss and combat the signs of ageing.
Written By Dr Eccles
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