When facing a decision about the course of treatment for a disease, people today often consider alternatives to traditional, classic medicine which relies greatly on medications and surgical procedures. The first things that come to mind when considering alternative medicine are naturopathy and homeopathy. The two may look similar, but there are significant differences between them, and they both have their benefits and disadvantages.
Homeopathy was introduced in the 18th century my Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. This form of therapy is based on a belief that “likes cure likes”. To put it simply, what causes symptoms in a healthy person can often be used to sure a disease with similar symptoms in a sick person. Homeopathy works through remedies which trigger certain responses in the human body.
Naturopathy is based on the notion that human body possesses instinctual abilities that are more superior than anything else. Naturopathy doctors recommend comprehensive plans and regimens that often include psychological and even spiritual aspects.
Naturopathy benefits and disadvantages
Nutrition is a very important thing in naturopathy. It is believed that food can heal and rejuvenate. Healthy life style and especially healthy dietary habits are the first thing a patient is advised to adopt.
Naturopathy uses hydrotherapy, mud therapy and massage with the purpose of stimulating and improving the immune response of the body.
This therapy uses herbal medicines with little or no side effects that are safe for almost everyone, and they are mostly Indian and Chinese herbs.
One of the biggest disadvantages of naturopathy is that it works only if conducted under the supervision of a good, well-trained physician, and they, unfortunately, are rare. They also tend to have a belief system that not many people share, which may be a problem too. In addition, for certain diseases naturopathy is simply ineffective on its own and can be used just as a complementary treatment.
Homeopathy benefits and disadvantages
Unlike naturopathy, homeopathy can work alongside any allopathic treatment without reducing its effectiveness.
Homeopathy treats the patient and not the disease, so it is more focused on the current state and previous history of every individual. Its remedies are diluted which greatly reduces potential side effects.
Homeopathic remedies strengthen the immune system and prevent symptoms and illnesses from reoccurring. They are believed to work best on psychosomatic illnesses like diabetes, ulcers, and migraines.
One of the major drawbacks for homeopathy is that it is ineffective against very serious and wide-spread infections, as well as on diseases that require surgical procedures. It cannot help in emergency situations.
Finally, just like in naturopathy, a well-trained and trustworthy homeopathic physician may be hard to find or to book an appointment with.