No Need for War Between Naturopaths and Allopaths
Use your favorite search engine to search for stories talking about naturopathic medicine. You know what you are likely to find? You’re likely to see dozens of different articles condemning or defending naturopathy as an alternative to allopathic (traditional, pharmacy-based) medical practice. Indeed, there seems to be a war between naturopaths and allopaths that is becoming more intense every day.
I am here to say that this war is completely unnecessary and harmful to those who are most affected by it: our patients. It is time to stop the accusations, tone down the rhetoric, and get back to the practice of helping patients lead healthy lives. Isn’t that what all forms of medicine are supposed to be about?
One-Size-Fits-All Doesn’t Work
As a naturopathic doctor myself, I do find it necessary to defend both my profession and my colleagues. We are not medical quacks engaged in a pseudo-medical profession based more on religious zeal than scientific evidence. We are trained professionals who give as much weight to legitimate science as our allopathic colleagues. The big difference is that we don’t blindly accept scientific studies that are so often influenced by money and special interests. Science is not perfect by any stretch. One need only investigate the history of lidocaine to know that.
That does not mean that we naturopaths completely dismiss the pharmaceutical approach to medical practice. We do not. Furthermore, one of the things that separate us from allopathic practitioners is our firm belief that the one-size-fits-all approach Western medicine has utilized for decades simply does not work for everyone. In fact, there are more proven cases of it not working than there are similar cases related to naturopathy.
The reality is that naturopathic and allopathic practices are not different forms of medicine. They are different modalities only. As such, there is plenty of room for both to not only coexist but also to work together to achieve overall wellness for patients. There’s even room to include other modalities the allopathic world looks down on.
Patients Deserve the Best Treatments
Practitioners of different modalities can continue to argue about what constitutes legitimate medicine. Yet at the end of the day, it all boils down to the fact that patients deserve the best possible treatments. They do not deserve to be shuffled from one doctor to the next who simply spins a pharmaceutical wheel to choose what treatment is going to be tried next.
Patients need doctors who are willing to dig until they find the underlying cause of disease, which, by the way, just happens to be the hallmark of naturopathic medicine. They need doctors who are willing to explore every possible treatment to actually cure disease rather than just addressing symptoms. They need doctors who are not so tightly tied to their preferred modality that they are unable to look at any other options.
The war between naturopathy and allopathic medicine is both completely unnecessary and
unwarranted. Unfortunately, the people suffering the most from this ongoing dispute are the patients who so desperately need competent medical care. It’s time for a truce. It is time to bring an end to the fighting and usher in the beginning to an era of cooperation that will produce the best possible results for patients.