How Natural Health is Becoming a Key Approach in Mainstream Medicine

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How Natural Health is Becoming a Key Approach in Mainstream Medicine

It’s not that long ago that natural health, complementary therapies, and anything that wasn’t pharmaceutically-based was dismissed by the majority of the mainstream medical profession as ineffective or unproven.

Natural approaches were certainly not included in a patient’s treatment plan or offered as an alternative to patients. In the past few years though, everything is starting to change, and now almost every piece of conventional medical consumer advice includes the message that a healthy lifestyle is fundamental to staying well and reducing the effects of disease.

How natural medicine became marginalized

Throughout history, skilled healers have recognized that a healthy diet is essential for health. For example, 11th Century Arabian medics would prescribe nutritious food as a cure for patients who had a general malaise.

The scientific advances made in medicine in the 19th and 20th centuries were exceptional, with discoveries like anesthetic, antibiotics, and vaccines proving invaluable and saving millions of people’s lives. Unfortunately, the miraculous nature of these discoveries led people to believe that all the answers lay in more and better drugs, rather than dealing with the underlying causes of many diseases.

How natural medicine regained recognition

In the past few years, researchers have confirmed the importance of having a nutritious, varied, and well-balanced diet, plenty of exercise, and finding ways to reduce stress. This knowledge is now becoming the cornerstone of conventional health care, and its influence is spreading to all branches of medicine.

How natural medicine is working with conventional medicine in practice:

School Nursing

Take school nursing, for example, a highly respected and valuable role that has its heart the welfare of the world’s most valuable and precious resource – children.

School nurses still use conventional approaches, but they are now able to legitimately combine them with diet and exercise advice and stress reduction support. Some schools are embracing school-wide yoga and mindfulness classes, and the lunch menu available to school children is now far more focused on healthy options. Being a school nurse is a truly fulfilling role because you can do so much more to prevent ill health rather than just treating symptoms.

Private practice

Medical doctors are also embracing the idea of using natural approaches to health care as an option for treating patients. Some use selected complementary therapies; for example, orthopedic surgeons who provide osteopathy or chiropractic services as part of a range of noninvasive treatment options. Others offer a full range of complementary and alternative medicine options so patients can choose the kind of therapies they wish to use in their treatment plan, in many cases combining natural and conventional options.

The focus has shifted from reactionary medicine, where healthcare professionals act when a patient already has symptoms, to much more of an emphasis on preventive medicine, stopping people from getting sick in the first place. Natural medicine is now playing a pivotal role in all forms of health care and proving that it has intrinsic value in every aspect of health.

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