Natural therapy and normal medicine—what is the difference?

In contemporary society, medical treatment is typically divided into two categories: natural therapy (or alternative medicine) and normal (mainstream) medicine. This distinction, however, is relatively new. Before the explosion of Western medical science and its pharmaceutical progeny, what is now deemed alternative medicine was the only medicine in existence. There were no other methods. But throwing mainstream medicine into the mix has now produced a contentious environment surrounding medical treatment.  Is homeopathy a better way to help people with ADHD? Are pharmaceuticals the answer for people suffering from heart disease? These are the kind of questions popping up all around the heart of the natural vs. normal medicine query. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two branches of treatment to shine more light on the subject.

Natural Therapy

Natural therapy is usually defined as the use of plants, spirituality, historical and/or cultural traditions as a means of treating medical conditions. Natural medicine is as old as organised human beings, given that plants have always been used in some capacity to treat illness and injury. Today, natural therapy includes healing approaches as diverse as homeopathy and hypnotherapy to get to the root cause of a person’s illness. One key feature of natural therapy is that it takes a more comprehensive approach to healing; that is, it seeks to view the body as a sum of its parts and thus treats it in a holistic manner.

Normal Medicine

Normal medicine is defined as medical treatments devised under the very rigorous eye of the Western scientific method. Normal medicine typically involves the use of pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics or Xanax. Normal medicine is highly regulated, usually answering to a government organization whose seal of approval is needed for a certain treatments to get the green light. Normal medicine often isolates and treats a specific part of the body, paying little attention to the bigger picture in terms of the connection between the various physical parts relationship to each other and with regard to illness.

Which option is the best?

Most people want to know the difference between normal medicine and natural treatment in order to ascertain which is the safer, more effective healing option. The truth is, both come with pros and cons. For example, antibiotics are often the safest and most necessary way to treat a systemic infection, but they do not always work. In fact, many bacterial infections are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Even when they do work, antibiotics have a shadow side. They cure an infection, but also clean out all the good bacteria the body needs to avoid problems like systemic yeast overgrowths. On the other side of the coin, natural therapy treatments for bacterial infections such as oil of oregano have many people who swear by their efficacy, but this does not mean that they always work.

The normal medicine vs. natural therapy debate is tricky to navigate; with so many pros and cons floating around on both sides it is difficult for many people to choose one option over the other. However, the best thing for people to do is to make informed decisions with the help of a trusted medical professional, be they natural or normal. The informed patient is much more likely to find the treatment method that works best for them as monitored by a healthcare professional.

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