A person spoke with me over the phone about his experience talking with his medical doctors about his interest in trying a natural approach.  He noticed two things:

  • They will tell you to keep taking your medications while trying a natural approach
  • They will caution you about trying natural remedies, often saying that they haven’t been proven

Let’s start to analyze this with an example.  Many of you have probably planned a trip to a new country before.  Perhaps it was not what would be described by others as a safe, civilized, developed, European, or European settled country. Instead of them telling you wonderful things about it and being excited for you, they will caution you, give you bad stories, and tell you about violence happening in the area.

Why do they do this?

A: Typically, because they are completely unfamiliar with the area.  They have never been there, and have no family or friends who have gone there or spent an extensive amount of time in the country.  Thus, there is the heighted caution that typically comes with the unknown.

Why else could they be doing this?

A: Because they want the area for themselves.  Or they want to diminish its value for the purposes of either exploitation or to falsely portray their own land to appear more valuable than it is.  Not to say that their land does not have value, but it’s being exaggerated.

An example of this are the countries of Africa.  Africa is often discouraged to me by people who are not Black.  Black people, on the other hand, are super excited for me when I say I plan to travel there.  Yes, they encourage common sense caution, especially depending on the area, but mostly the rhetoric is positive.  The rhetoric with non-Black individuals have been mostly negative, with the exception of a couple of my own personal health care practitioners and a neighbor.

These same debacles are happening when it comes to medical system based practitioners giving their input on natural therapies.  Do you really think they spend much time researching natural medicine given everything else they have to do?  I think some do, but I think many don’t.  Do I completely condemn them for this?  No, because there is value in teamwork, listening to others who have already done the research, had the clinical experience, etc. and then just implementing what they said and see if it works on the population you serve.  However, there are some issues that can arise with this method as well.

When a doctor who doesn’t spend much time in natural approaches tells you a certain natural approach has not been proven, they are usually saying that based off of a certain type of training of what ‘proven’ means.  It is based on a standard of research that, in my opinion, is a great standard, but it can be still limited by intentions, trained mindsets, interpretations of things that do not fit inside the system, lack of initiative to look up certain research, and lack of funding based on less return on investment for something that cannot be patented/owned.

So how often did the doctor come to the conclusion of a natural approach not being ‘proven’ themselves versus repeating what their system or certain influential individuals said to them about it?

Furthermore, not all medications which have been ‘proven’ to their system’s standards work for everyone.  Or even if it works, it may give you side effects that are not worth the treatment they provided.  What value does the word ‘proven’ have then?  It still has value, but I’m just giving you things to think about.  And some medications do work great with little to minimal side effects for individuals.

What I have also learned is that some licensed MDs have had to really work to get out of the mindsets trained into them from medical school, when they decided to instead learn about and practice functional medicine.

The reality is that no matter what you try – pharmaceutical, surgical, natural, etc. – you still have to determine if it will work for YOU.  The point of research is to find what works for most people and has been proven safe enough to use.

Side tip: Narrowing your research to only US based studies and systems narrows your knowledge.  There are many studies that have been conducted around the globe demonstrating the healing power of herbs.

I still acknowledge the measurable efficacy and my appreciation for conventional medicine.  And I will stand for the value and efficacy of natural medicine.