Conventional medicine has been a huge source of frustration for my entire adult life. Over the last 10+ years I’ve had some intelligent, sincere, well-meaning MD’s attempt to treat my ongoing medical issues. The problem? Conventional medicine and prescription drugs have limitations that failed to treat me as a whole person.
Enter . . . the naturopathic doctor.
A visit to the naturopath
Before moving to North Carolina, I decided one of my first orders of business upon arriving would be finding a naturopathic doctor who could offer a brand new treatment approach. Prescription medications have caused an asymmetry in my system, inadvertently suppressing my immune system, contributing to hormonal imbalances, and leading to various digestive issues. My poor 33-year old body deserves better.
In an effort to get away from conventional medicine, I did hours of research, tried natural remedies, and spent tons of money on supplements with no lasting improvements to my conditions. In short, because MD’s hadn’t worked, and I was at the end of my expertise, I was ready to turn things over to a new sort of qualified professional.
I was shocked right from the start; the naturopathic doctor spent more time with me in my first three appointments than any of my doctors over the last 10 years. The level of detail with which we discussed issues was unprecedented in my medical history. The naturopath explained everything slowly and simply, gave ample opportunities for questions, and even assigned homework. After all, shouldn’t patients be well-informed about the treatment approaches they are paying for? The book I was assigned was so enlightening that Matt started reading it as soon as I put it down. Homeopathy: Beyond Flat Earth Medicine, is a quick read that gives a very clear introduction to the science of homeopathy. (Its use of the term “flat earth” makes reference to how people once believed the world was flat.)
Homeopathy vs. Allopathy
A naturopathic plan is developed for the patient after a few visits. One treatment modality my naturopath uses is homeopathy. The Greek roots of the word mean “similar suffering.” In essence, the theory and mode of treatment in homeopathy is that a substance can be used as medicine to treat a person experiencing symptoms that a healthy person would experience if taking the same substance. This idea of treating like with like is very intriguing to me. Conventional medicine treats disease with substances that cause symptoms different from those a patient is experiencing, and is thus called allopathy (allo meaning “other”).
Homeopathic remedies do not treat specific disease conditions, but rather the entire person and all his/her symptoms. One of my doctor’s pamphlets states, “Homeopathic medicine is a highly individualized therapy that stimulates the body to heal itself.” That just makes plain ole sense to me. Instead of visiting numerous specialists who treated my different issues in isolation, my naturopath can now look at my entire system and treat it with ONE homeopathic remedy.
Homeopathic remedies come in tiny, BB-sized pellets that are dissolved under the tongue. They are highly diluted, non-toxic, natural medicines made from plants and minerals. If your child or pet accidentally ate the entire contents of a bottle it would not be dangerous. Prescription medications are quite the opposite, but that’s a topic and article for another day!
I am expecting a gradual improvement in my conditions. I know that the extremely diluted homeopathic remedies are designed to produce a slow, deep level of healing. Many times after achieving a certain level of improvement, homeopathic remedies can be discontinued. This is completely different than prescription drugs which offer an instant, short-lived masking of the symptoms, but no solution. Worse yet, many drugs have decreased effectiveness over time, leading to more frequent, intense relapses, until a new prescription is necessary. Above all, I want my body to heal itself and reestablish balance . . . which prescription drugs and allopathic medicine have failed to deliver.
In addition, homeopathic treatments are very inexpensive. The initial consultation appointments cost a bit up front, that’s because the doctor spends so much time getting to know your issues so he/she can put together a personalized plan. I was prepared to shell out an arm and a leg for my homeopathic remedy and supplements; I had no idea what they would cost. I actually ended up returning home and bragging to Matt about how cheap it all was. (I got 1 homeopathic remedy, 3 supplements, and one “just in case” treatment for LESS than one bottle of generic brand prescription medication I recently refilled!) Every penny spent will be worth it if my body gets back on a healthy path!
To be continued…
I just had my third visit in two weeks with my new fabulous naturopath, and am now eagerly awaiting some positive results from the homeopathic remedy and three supplements she recommended. (I have ALREADY noticed one of my issues improving after taking my remedy/supplements for ONE DAY!) My naturopathic plan is a work in progress, which will be tweaked and modified based on my body’s response to treatment.
I see naturopathic medicine as a more health-oriented alternative after experiencing so much frustration with the limitations, high costs, and side-effects of conventional medicine. If I see great results from homeopathy and naturopaths, I will never look back. I’ll update again with treatment progress and more in-depth information about homeopathy as I learn more. (See my UPDATE here!)
If you are you considering seeking a homeopathic solution I strongly suggest you read Homeopathy: Beyond Flat Earth Medicine – it’s a fantastic and fast introduction.
To find a naturopathic doctor in your area, visit this directory of naturopathic physicians.
If you live in the Asheville, NC area, and are looking for a fantastic naturopathic doctor, check out my new favorite… Lewis Family Natural Health!
image source: takomabibelot