Naturopathy and Western Medicine – Conflict or Harmony?

Conflicting or complementary?

As described in previous blogs, naturopathy treats the human body as an integral part of nature, with its own intrinsic healing capabilities and vitality. It seeks to maintain the harmony between all of the life processes within the body by cultivating purity of habits and thus, health. From this view point, any disease is a manifestation of toxic build up in the body due to wrong diet and other lifestyle imbalances; it is also the body’s vigorous attempt to throw these toxins out by way of the symptoms of the disease.

Western/modern allopathic medicine, on the other hand asserts diseases to be caused by external factors like microbes (virus, bacteria, fungi etc) and lifestyle related issues. While the former is in consonance with the nature cure school, the latter is a significant point of divergence. This is because naturopathy explains the effect of microbes in relation to the diminished vitality of a person’s body. So, when due to bad habits and diet, the body starts accumulating morbid matter, the immune system begins to get suppressed and the natural cleansing and curative capabilities of the body get weak. It is in this condition, and only in this condition, that the microbes which are ever present in the environment, make an impact on the body by way of an infection. Thus, a person with a robust vitality, in the same microbe infested environment will not fall prey to the ‘disease’ as seen by western medicine.

Based on this divergence, western medicine seeks to eliminate the symptoms of disease by the use of drugs and invasive methods like surgeries, which often result in the suppression of disease rather than a more fundamental cure – that is, the removal of the toxic build up. Western medicine is credited as giving fast and immediate relief to its patients and also as having developed an ever growing spectrum of disease specific therapeutic chemical formulations. But the flip side to this is the lack of a positive conception of health and ‘disease-free’ness, suppression of symptoms rather than curing the root problem, and reduced vitality during and after the course of therapy. It is here that naturopathy steps in with an alternative.

A naturopath is considered a teacher helping its student (patient) understand the basics of nature, health and the body. He seeks to educate the patient about the unity of disease and cure and helps inculcate the right dietary and lifestyle habits. He works at cleansing the patient’s body through natural means like diet, the use of herbs, curative powers of sun, water and mud etc, and thus builds the patient’s vitality.

With the growing awareness of the side effects of western medicine and the holistic benefits of nature cure, more and more people today are opting to combine the two approaches, in cases where the disease has reached an advanced stage and thus become a test on endurance. In such cases, it is advised to keep both doctors abreast of the treatment and prescription of the other so that there is no conflict of therapy.

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