What is Natural Medicine?
To answer this question we have to consider what does the body need to heal and repair. The DNA of the body has the blueprint for creating perfect, well-functioning cells. That would be the definition of great health--having an abundance of each type of cell (eyes, brain, nerve, muscle, liver, blood, etc.) working exactly as they were designed to work. We would then be very healthy.
What goes wrongs can vary. You know the usual suspects-viral and bacterial invasions. Medical science invented antibiotics to deal with infection. And they worked. Too well. Now we have super-bugs because the ordinary pathogens were killed off, leaving only their tougher cousins. And antibiotics are like dropping a bomb in a war zone. Both sides are going to suffer casualties. Killing off pathogens means also killing off the healthy bacteria that make up the immune system itself. We cannot live without our gut bugs, and many people are suffering from the slaughter of their immune system by the very agents that were supposed to help them overcome sickness.
From this we have learned that the Chinese approach, developed over 5000 years, was the smart one. Work with the body to help it be strong and healthy. The body has always used nutrients from plants, animals, minerals and fats, to repair itself. Sometimes the body needs high levels of certain nutrients to repair, and that is where natural medicine comes in.
Hippocrates, called the Father of Medicine, was actually a Naturopathic Doctor! He said, “First Do No Harm”. He also said, “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” This is truer today than ever. Dietary changes alone can make a dramatic difference in health and wellness. We have loaded our food with chemicals and toxins, and our commercial farming method produce inferior fruits, vegetables and meat products, so it is no wonder so many people are fat and sick and tired. Change your diet and you can change your life.
We call Nutrition and Natural Medicine “upstream medicine”. We are locating and treating where the problem arises that is causing the symptom, not putting a band-aide on the symptom.
Whole food concentrates and supplements can fill the nutritional gap and provide exactly what is needed for the body to be able to do the job it was designed to do. Herbal preparations are a safe way to provide plant-based medicine that may work even more effectively than antibiotics, and act as tonics and adaptogens so the body can respond to stress in the environment.
Homeopathy is a fascinating type of medicine that was developed to trigger correct immune responses at the cellular level, so the immune system can recover quickly to challenges. Using minute doses, homeopathy works on a microscopic level, so it is a very elegant approach. It is a safe and effective medicine that can be part of everyone’s home medicine kit.
There are many other forms of natural medicine. Many work to open up the channels and flows of the body so that energy, nerve flow and circulation can be restored. Chiropractic, traditional osteopathy and acupuncture would all fall in this category.
Which approach is right for you? If you think of this as a Parcheesi board, consider that all paths lead to the middle. The path that helps you arrive at your own optimum health goals is correct for you.
Nutrition is always the foundation, no matter what other modality you choose. Nutrition, used correctly, really is medicine, because it is what the body was designed to use and has used for thousands of years, since the beginning of humankind.
Of course, medical science has made great strides and medical technology has a role to play. Trauma and serious conditions need medical intervention. But so many health problems are not yet serious, just debilitating. After all the expensive tests have been performed, and the doctor tells you they cannot find anything wrong, but you still have symptoms and you are still suffering, where do you turn? Natural medicine can often fix the various functions of the body, without harmful drugs or invasive surgery. Every one needs natural medicine to stay healthy, and to repair when health declines. And, if medical treatment is needed, there is always repair to be done to recover from the effects of the drugs or surgery. Natural medicine can help you achieve a faster and more lasting recovery. And then it can address the underlying problem that caused the need for medical treatment in the first place.
Natural medicine can help all of us handle the stresses and challenges of our environment, and give us back our health and energy to feel good and do what we dream of doing. The blueprint for great function is there in our DNA. Natural medicine unlocks the potential.