Before the practice of the traditional medicine that is used today there was Homeopath and Naturopath medicine; there is evidence of a growing acceptance and use of these more historical medicine practices being used in modern times. Homeopathy and naturopathic medicine practices have a great deal in common; however, there are distinct differences. Over traditional medicine practice and treatment, homeopath and naturopath medicine tend to treat the whole person that try to address the root of the medical problem instead of just treating its symptoms. Cranberry juice helps cure urinary tract infections, garlic is a natural antibiotic and has also been shown to help heart disease as well as other health issues; these two “cures” are just a sample of using a more holistic approach to treatment rather than prescribing a medication that can be purchased at the local pharmacy. Traditional physicians now prescribe natural based treatments like the garlic and another is fish oil. Knowing the difference between the homeopath and the naturopath practices when seeking medical help is advisable.
As stated by Martin Hughes, in his article “Homeopath vs. Naturopath”: ‘The terms “homeopath” and “naturopath” mean different things in different states. In states that license naturopathic doctors as primary care physicians, a practitioner of naturopathic medicine is known as a naturopathic physician. A naturopathic physician may practice homeopathy; homeopathy is one of several treatment modalities used by naturopathic physicians to address your health complaints. In these states, a person who has not obtained the degree of naturopathic doctor from an accredited four-year naturopathic medical school may practice homeopathy but is not permitted to call herself a “naturopathic doctor.” In states that do not have a licensing process for naturopathic doctors, anybody—including lay homeopaths—can refer to themselves as a “naturopathic doctor.”’
Both types of practitioners are unique, however still complement the other. Both believe that the human body is able to heal itself from many illnesses and treatment of ailments should be in a natural form that enables the body to work properly and heal naturally. Homeopaths and Naturopaths do not always go for the quick fix that a traditional doctor may use. An example is that a traditional doctor may prescribe a chemically based cream for a sever rash, the homeopath and naturopath might advise a cream made from gold seal. Both natural and traditional creams do work. The chemical based is more expensive and may work somewhat faster. A choice comes down to whether the patient would rather use chemicals or something natural to treat an ailment. Before the treatment even begins, there are major differences between naturopathic and homeopathic medical diagnosing that the patient should be aware of. Homeopaths use a detailed question and answering session that may take hours to go through; a naturopath may use a question format along with x-rays and blood work to find the root cause to health problems.
A naturopath may work alongside a formally trained medical doctor in an office or within a hospital format, homeopaths typically do not. (Hughes, 2011) Patients need to be aware of how their choice of practitioner works, have confidence in their ability and a willingness to follow any treatment plan given. The treatment that both Homeopaths and Naturopath practitioners use can have differences, both treat the whole body. Many homeopaths use herbalists for help in creating a mixture or formula that treat an ailment. The mixtures are normally made from plants, herbs and juices that are developed in a refined manner and often grown by the herbalist. A naturopath may use botanical and/or chemically based medication. An interesting fact is that women that created the concoctions that healed and treated the sick hundreds of years ago were once considered witches. The practice of burning witches at the stake began in Europe.
An ironic fact is that men who practiced “modern” medicine and often used treatments such as blood-letting found the “witches” potions to be more effective treatment which then men did not like. (Ehrenreich and English, 1972) Historically effective naturopathic medicine is being brought back into many remedies used today by traditional, naturopathic and holistic practitioners. There is a weaving of practices that is being integrated in a positive way that allows patients today to look at their own health as a whole body treatment. Yoga, vitamin therapy, exercising, following a healthy eating plan is as important as taking medications prescribed by a physician. The weaving begins with the historical use of the naturopath and homeopathic knowledge we’ve had for generations. The naturopath uses a more whole body approach which may include exercise, diet, regular medicine, herbal or natural types of medicine, hydrotherapy, acupuncture and lifestyle coaching. (Hughes, 2011)
Both homeopaths and naturopaths believe that the human spirit has a great deal to do with how well a person may do when the holistic approach is used. Cancer Treatment Centers of America advertise use of a more naturopathic and holistic approach to treating cancer patients. Caretakers that use a holistic approach and are competent to help treat homeopathic and naturopathic patients are used as a form of support and re-enforcing the treatment plans. ( http://www.cancercenter.com/integrative-treatment.cfm) In some societies spiritual blessings are given or offerings are made, what once was seen as voodoo and witchcraft is now seen in a more spiritually accepted point of healing the inner body. All treatments should be done following the guidelines that are given by the practitioners. Some of the treatments may sound farfetched and even weird, but have proof of their use and positive effect for thousands of years before today.
Social media sites such as Facebook are full of people who will swear by some crazy sounding cures, which in fact actually do have medical merit. (One should always check with someone that has proper knowledge before trying anything that may sound dangerous.) It is wise any time a patient is uncomfortable with a diagnosis or treatment plan, they have the right to refuse. Once the treatment is given and completed, there is another difference in how homeopath and naturopath practitioners review the patient’s success. The naturopath will go through many of the same questions that were used in diagnosing a problem. Along the same lines is the checking of symptoms and reactions to the remedies used. If a problem still exists, a naturopath will add another nature formulated item to the treatment and there will be another follow-up a week or two later.
A homeopath may use further x-rays and blood work to ensure the treatment is being effective. (Hughes, 2011) There is an ability in gaining knowledge that allows one to know that many forms of natural and homeopathic treatments are being used rather than filling the human body with chemicals that may become toxic, thus poisoning the body. Toxic medications and treatments have been known to cause death, birth defects and cancers.
Drug recalls are constantly in the news, most people know at least one person that has been impacted by a dangerous side effect of a chemical-based medication. Natural medicines or treatments are not without danger; therefore it is imperative to talk to someone who has studied homeopathy, naturopathy or are an herbalist before treating a health problem. Empowering knowledge comes from studying holistic medicine, learning there are ways that are cheaper and better for the body than dangerous, more traditional medicine. The human body is an incredible machine that needs to be treated in the best way possible, using naturopathic and homeopathic medicine is a step in the right direction.
Hughes, M., D.C. (August 11, 2011). Homeopath-vs-naturopath. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/100600-homeopath-vs.-naturopath/ Ross, J. (2004) The Mood Cure, published by Viking-Penguin
Ehrereich, B., English, D. (1972). Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers http://www.cancercenter.com/integrative-treatment.cfm