Friday, November 26, 2010

Naturopathic Medicine-To Choose or not to Choose

Doctors who practice naturopathy are called naturopaths and concentrate on minimal use of surgical and pharmacological interventions with a holistic approach. In the USA less than half of the states license and regulate naturopaths, and this practice is not licensed in Australia, or regulated in the UK. Naturopathic medicine is better received in India. There are places in the world where a physician of naturopathic medicine is able to practice with the title of doctor regardless of their education level. (Wikipedia)

Naturopathic medicine is based on the concept that health is not the absence of symptoms, but absence of cause. Naturopathy promotes a healthy lifestyle through the integration of exercise, stress reduction, and a proper diet consisting of natural, organic foods. (Cooper & Miller, Pg. 220)

As people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome we seek help from the variety of alternative treatments and methods available to us. The general feeling in conventional medicine is that naturopathic medicine is not evidence based medicine (not proven with science) and some traditional/conventional MDs and DOs see naturopathic practitioners as quacks. Both traditional and naturopathic practitioners have their own point to make. Personally, I feel an integrative approach will yield the best outcome.

No matter what approach you choose to follow, do it with information, and interview. Beware © if:

If the ad suggests a treatment that is not backed by scientific evidence.

If a vitamin or other preparation does not have a contact name listed on the label. (If the manufacturer is reputable, it will be there.)

If it is a steroid or other hormonal preparation. (Remember that your doctor should always check your hormone levels to determine need. If necessary, a medication will be prescribed, not an over-the-counter drug.)

If the practitioner claims to be able to cure an illness that no one else can.

If the practitioner has no credentials or avoids showing them. (Most of us like to show off our achievements. Look for those diplomas on the wall and read what they say.)

If a practitioner demands a signed financial contract for services, instead of listening to your complaint.

If a practitioner intimidates you or tries to put you on the defensive.

(Cooper & Miller, pg. 235)

Cooper, C and Miller, J. Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection. Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2010.

Wikipedia, accessed November 26, 2010.

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