Naturopathic Medicine is excellent for an acute crisis and trauma. However it is not easy to bring a new patient up to speed in the middle of an emergency, so crisis care is more appropriate for existing patients. Think ahead!
Many people think that Naturopathic Medicine is not strong enough or fast enough to manage severe conditions. Living in Idaho, where the Laws are restrictive and unfavorable for trained Naturopathic Physicians, has given me the opportunity to provide emergency care in a wide variety of situations – often beyond the line of what I have been trained to do (again why we ‘practice’ medicine and keep learning from our patients). Even though I believe in this type of care to my core… I still feel awe when it works so well.
Although I was trained in appropriate medical technology, which included the appropriate use of ALL medical tools including antibiotics, drugs and surgery…. in Idaho my access is restricted and I have often encountered patients who were unwilling to utilize those forms of medicine due to religious beliefs or philosophical orientation. As a result I have had the opporunity to TEST Naturopathic Medicine in the field under extreme conditions… and IT WORKS!
Since Naturopathic Medicine treats people not diseases, the appropriate course of care for one condition can take an infinite variety of forms…. part of providing individualized care requires looking at the unique needs of the individual, their family, their community, and their environment in light of the existing crisis. What are their beliefs (religious and cultural), what are their resources (internal, family, financial, etc), what is their objective (getting well before a trip, resolving a chronic disease that flares up repeatedly, etc), and perhaps most importantly – what is the vitality of health and the commitment to fixing the problem?
Here are a few thoughts when considering Naturopathic Care for Acute situations.
Prevention, prevention, PREVENTION! How do you prevent acute crisis? Three ways: 1 stop it in it’s tracks! By having a truly useful home pharmacy (and stocked kitchen) and the knowledge to act you can stop many health challenges before they start. 2 By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and investing in wellness promotion you are more successfully able to manage life’s challenges. 3 It’s who you know! Having a relationship with a physician you can reach immediately during crisis is essential. Without support and advice, you are left making decisions on your own when you are least able to be thinking clearly.
When you start to recognize the strengths and weaknses of you health, it is easy to predict what conditions combine to create a crisis and what it will be. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to figure out the weakest link in a person’s constitution. In Western medicine, symptoms are suppressed with drugs…anti-histamines, pain medications, cough suppressants, antibiotics…. so we fail to recognize the VALUE of symptoms and the clues they give us about how the body is reacting….symptoms are like the early warning fire alarm of a bigger problem! When we stop ignoring or covering up the warning, we access the protective mechanisms that God put in our body to KEEP US HEALTHY! Instead of waiting for the house to catch fire to act, symptoms (fire alarms) allow us to see risk, make predictions and make choices that change your health destiny. If you don’t understand this, disease seems like a random occurrance that is inconvenient and innevitable and disempowering.
Who do you know? I grew up with a father that was a physician who DID housecalls. As a kid I went along with him and played with the kids in the family while my Dad worked. My kids have grown up the same way. Illness is best managed at home with the physician going to you. Why get a really sick kid with a ruptured eardrum UP to wait in line with a bunch of sick people in an ER at 3 AM? Is that healthcare? Acute care at Healthy by Nature includes a high level of accessibility. Patients access me in a variety of ways to get their needs met, but ACCESS is the key. When you are scared, sick, and uncertain; regardless of your orientation or health goals…. you need an advocate, someone who knows you, to reassure and give advice and remind you that have what you need to minister to yourself or your family providing EXCEPTIONAL healthcare.