Integrative Medicine?

Naturopathic Medicine-is part of a broad group of medicines* often called Complimentary and Alternative Medicines (CAM). I attended a talk this week and the lecturer suggested that Naturopathic Doctors work to rename this umbrella term.

The lecturer explained how complimentary didn't quite fit as a description because it means that Naturopathic Medicine is there to compliment (meaning that it stands in addition to) regular, Allopathic Medicine. Complimentary implies that you must have Allopathic Medicine first, then Naturopathic Medicine as an addition.

also doesn't work because it suggests that you can either have standard medicin OR the alternative. It's one or the other. Naturopathy really isn't that different from Allopathy (both have many of the same modalities and principles: both aim to help heal the patient, both diagnose, both offer treatment option). I also wouldn't call it alternative in the radical sense (although there are, sadly, still people who think we are Witch Doctors :P).

Instead of Complimentary and/or Alternative, the lecturer suggested that we adopt the term Integrative. Naturopathic Medicine integrates (or combines) typical medicine with more natural, less invasive therapies. It connects naturopathic healing with allopathic diagnosing techniques. Using the term integrative may help Naturopathic Doctors further include themselves in the standard health care system.

*Other professions included under the CAM umbrella: Massage Therapy, Chiropractic Medicine, Osteopathy, Herbalism, Holistic Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Midwifery, etc...

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