What Is A Natural Therapy?
Natural therapy describes a wide range of treatments which focus on treating physical, mental and emotional ailments without the use of conventional drugs or medications. Popular natural therapies include chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, massage, hydrotherapy, herbal medicine, aromatherapy, yoga and more. Some natural therapies may also be called complementary therapies, homeopathy, natural medicine or naturopathy.
Although most natural therapies are practiced outside of the conventional medical arena, there are many notable physicians that incorporate effective natural treatments into their regular patient care recommendations. Many insurance organizations are broadening their guidelines to include coverage of certain natural therapies such as chiropractic care, massage therapy and acupuncture.
Benefits Of Natural Therapy
People have been practicing natural therapy for centuries. Before modern medicine and conventional drugs, doctors had to rely on natural methods to treat diseases and heal injuries. There are many modalities and methods that have proven successful for a variety of ailments. They are discussed in more detail in the articles above.
I am not advocating leaving conventional medicine behind and only using natural therapies. Rather I suggest working with a qualified healthcare professional that is familiar with both conventional and alternative practices. Used together, conventional and natural treatments can both help to restore health and vitality.
Natural therapy, in general, comes with the following benefits:
Boost the Body’s Natural Healing Ability
Natural therapies work with the body to promote healing and wellness. They focus on the body as a whole rather than in small pieces. Most practitioners of natural therapies believe in the body’s innate ability to heal and recover from illness and injury. They support their patient’s health by using methods that strengthen and encourage natural healing processes.
Side Effects Are Rare
When used correctly, side effects from natural therapies are extremely rare. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs which may come with a host of uncomfortable or even dangerous side effects, natural medicine works with the body’s natural ability to heal and regenerate and comes with little or no side effects.
Natural therapies tend to be more affordable than conventional treatments, especially for those who lack good medical insurance.
Natural therapies do not trigger addictions or create dependency. There are no dangers to beginning or stopping them suddenly. One will not create a dependence on natural therapy, as can happen with certain conventional drugs and medications. For people who have struggled with addictions in the past, for example, natural therapies may be a safer route for pain relief than potentially addictive pharmaceuticals.
What Are Different Types Of Natural Therapies?
The following are the most common forms of natural therapy:
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
- Ayurvedic medicine
- Hydrotherapy or balneotherapy
- Music therapy
- Trigger point therapy
- Autogenic training
How Do I Find A Professional Trained In Natural Therapy?
The easiest way to find someone who practices natural medicine is by asking your doctor for a recommendation. If they are not sure, you can also ask friends and family you trust who may have received the same kind of care you are looking for. I would do a lot of research before seeing someone you find on a search engine. Look for someone who is well trained and qualified to do what they are advertising.
Depending on what type of alternative care you are seeking, be sure the practitioner has adequate licensing and schooling. Check reputable health organizations in your area to see if they have lists of practitioners for alternative/complementary medicine and therapies.
Why Are Natural Therapies Not More Widely Used?
There is a lot of misinformation out there about natural medicine. Many people believe you either use conventional medicine, doctors, drugs and hospitals, or you go to witch doctors and never set foot in a professional medical office. Some people also believe natural therapies are woo-woo, hippie, or ineffective.
Natural therapies can be very effective when used correctly. They can also be ineffective or not a good option for certain problems. It is the same with conventional medicine. You would not use lavender essential oil and a massage to fix a broken leg, for example. However the same lavender essential oil and massage may be an effective pain management tool for someone suffering from fibromyalgia, back pain, muscle pain, etc.
There are many instances where conventional and natural treatments may work together to a patient’s benefit. For example, in cancer patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, there are certain natural remedies and treatments that can make the side effects less severe and support immunity. Another example would be using prescription pain relievers for short-term relief and chiropractic adjustments, massage and acupuncture to help with long-term relief.
Remember, it is always a good idea to have a trained medical professional as part of your team. When dealing with serious medical conditions and ailments, you should never try to treat yourself at home with things you read online unless you first run it by your doctor. They can help you to create the best plan possible for your unique situation while also keeping you safe from potential at-home mistakes.
For more information about natural therapies, see the articles listed above.