Do we have to choose? Modern medicine and Naturopathy.

This is a HUGE favourite topic of mine to talk about! The amazingly beneficial relationship that can co-exist between modern medicine and natural, preventative medicine.

For a long time I have been fascinated with shows on TV such as "RPA", or lately the ABC favourite "Keeping Australia Alive". These shows look at the frontline of our medical system and I am in awe of the incredible skills and dedication these health providers have to help save lives everyday. It is completely undeniable to me that we need modern medicine... it has helped our species stay alive for so much longer than we could have expected and provides pain management and specialized life saving skills. Broken bone? Go to ER. Life threatening case of pneumonia? Go to ER. Car accident? Snake bite? Emergency C-section because your baby has the cord wrapped around his neck? Cancer diagnosis? The list goes on.

It is so important though to understand why I am so passionate about both models of healthcare. Because they are each completely DIFFERENT and thus should be appreciated in different ways. This is where I come to one of my sayings "we can have the best of both worlds". Natural and preventative medicine does not have ALL the answers. And neither does modern Western medicine! (will we ever even have all the answers?)

Think about naturopathic medicine as bringing about overall body wellness - we increase and promote resistance. We support the body, mind and spirit. We increase resilience through advising on proper nutrition, nurturing the emotional beliefs, and bringing about strength and empowerment to the individual so that they are able to overcome adversity - both emotional and physical, because in our line of thinking it is all connected. We identify nutritional deficiencies and look at the root cause of illness. We look at the person who has the disease, not the disease the person has. We work to prevent common illness from even developing in the first place.

Western medicine has diagnostics. They have the life-saving options such as dialysis machines, and surgeons who can operate on brain tumours or perform open heart surgery after cardiac failure. They have trained paramedics who attend car accidents and keep people breathing before they will arrive at the ER. They have medications that can sometimes mean prolonging life for certain individuals, or making life more easier for them due to certain conditions.

Keep in mind in line that YES; with my values there are many modern medical practices that don't join up with my naturopathic beliefs. The oral contraceptive pill to "treat" heavy periods or female reproductive system disorders for example. Pharmaceutical companies as multi-billion dollar companies and the selling of their products to GP's and "poly-pharmacy"; where patients are often prescribed medications to stop side effects of their previous medication without being offered lifestyle or dietary advice. Bowel conditions being diagnosed as "Irritable Bowel Syndrome" without proper GI and stool analysis, and anti-depressant medication being prescribed easily without any referrals to counselors or psychologists and without proper supervision or follow up.

BUT... this is where you can see natural medicine has it's benefits. We have so many options to help manage female reproductive disorders. Food intolerance's and GI dysbiosis can be helped immensely with naturopathic treatments. Research shows depression can stem from different aspects such as diet deficiencies or gene poly-morphism's rather than from chemical imbalances which is what anti-depressants treat. But I don't believe I can throw the entire Western medical model into one basket just because there are some elements I don't necessarily agree with? Which could be said exactly the same for those who believe natural preventative medicine doesn't have a place in society. They may not believe in detoxes, or juice fasting, or herbal remedies. But they do believe in the power of emotional well-being, proper exercise and a nutritional diet in being well. Should the entire naturopathic profession be thrown into one basket because of this? Of course not. Life isn't that simplistic, it never is.

I suppose I'm here to tell you you I don't believe we need to CHOOSE A SIDE. You don't need to feel like you are a fraud if you like both options of heath care. I certainly don't, even by working in the profession I do! I certainly believe naturopathy can offer so much more than people sometimes give it credit for, but I've never been a "black and white" choice kind of person. I prefer to weigh up all the options and choose what's best for me - which is exactly what I'd love my clients to be able to do. Pick and choose from each of us to obtain the best possible care!

You don't need to come and see me and feel like you need to tell me you hate taking medications because "naturopath's are against Western medicine". It is not my job (or my scope) to judge you or advise you to stop taking medications. My scope of practice is to ensure you are aware of any side effects and to ensure that any herbal remedies or nutritional supplements I prescribe will not have any contraindications with the medications you are taking. It is well out of my scope to advise you stop any medications, I instead will try to ensure you have explored all available options, and I will outline other options if I believe they are in your best interest, and if unsure request you re-visit your GP to re-evaluate.

There are no judgement's at Luonto Health... I am here to accommodate you and educate you, not push my own belief's onto you. Whether you are taking daily medication for epilepsy because it is the only thing that stops you having 5 seizures per day, to whether you have realised you have tried everything under the sun to conceive a baby but now need fertility treatments and want dietary and emotional support to help you through. To someone who chooses never to take any type of pharmaceutical medication at all, to those that have been on blood pressure lowering medication for 10 years. For those who are undergoing cancer treatment but want to also eat nutritionally well and help keep their immune system and emotions in balance. Naturopathy can assist you. As can Western medicine. We don't need to take sides.