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Handling MRSA with Naturopathy

Natural remedies for infection

Alternative methods are not yet a part of the standard curriculum in Western medical schools.

If you’re like most people with MRSA, you’re probably very familiar with the treatment options provided by mainstream Western medicine for handling MRSA infections. Most medical doctors, including specialists like Infectious Disease (I.D.) doctors, rely on the same set of MRSA treatment, management and prevention options. These are the options they are most familiar with because of their Western medical schooling and training.

There are many safe, effective and well established MRSA treatment and prevention options beyond the confines of Western medicine. More and more medical doctors are beginning to understand and use alternative methods for treating and preventing infections, often with great success. However, alternative methods are not yet a part of the standard curriculum in Western medical schools. As a result, most medical doctors have not even heard of these methods, and those that have usually misunderstand them.

Fortunately, alternative treatment and prevention methods for handling MRSA are well known and successfully practiced by a large number of trained medical professionals called naturopathic doctors, or N.D.’s. By working with an N.D. in combination with a Western medical or I.D. doctor, you can take advantage of the best infection treatment options provided by both alternative and Western medicine.

What is Naturopathy?

The core principle of naturopathic medicine, or naturopathy, is that the human body is a self-healing mechanism. If your body is given the proper raw materials and the conditions it needs, it naturally returns to a state of balance and is able to heal itself of nearly any disease, including severe infections like MRSA.

The primary focus of naturopathy is in addressing the root cause of your disease, not in treating or masking your symptoms. Naturopathic medicine views your body as an interconnected system that must be considered as a whole when treating or preventing disease. The significant impact that your mind and emotional state have on your health is also recognized and taken into account.

Naturopathic medicine stresses the prevention of illness before it takes place. In fact, naturopathic approaches are far more successful for preventing re-infections than Western medical approaches. If you have an existing health problem, non-invasive natural treatments are used if at all possible. These treatments include herbal medicine, nutrition, aromatherapy, essential oil therapy, homeopathy, dietary supplements, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and counseling to name just a few.

Pharmaceuticals may sometime be used if absolutely necessary, but only in combination with natural treatments. Most people are surprised to find that natural treatments are often just as effective as pharmaceutical approaches, without all the side effects and other drawbacks of most drugs.

What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

A naturopath or naturopathic doctor (N.D.) is a medical professional trained just as thoroughly as a medical doctor. Licensed N.D.’s complete a rigorous four-year program at a naturopathic medical school and must pass professional board exams. Accredited naturopathic colleges are patterned after conventional Western medical schools with additional study in holistic approaches. In some states, an N.D. can prescribe drugs, although natural non-pharmaceutical treatments are usually preferred.

Just like any doctor, each naturopath usually has an area of expertise, and many have specific knowledge and experience in treating MRSA.

How do Naturopaths Differ from Medical Doctors?

Mainstream, allopathic or Western medical doctors usually target their treatments to the specific organ or part of your body in which symptoms appear. Doctors are therefore divided into specialties based on specific body parts or systems, such as Infectious Disease (I.D.) doctors specializing in MRSA and other infections.

Western medical treatments typically entail quick relief by covering up your symptoms rather than addressing the underlying cause of your infection. The majority of treatments consist of pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to mask your symptoms. The power of the body to heal itself is usually underestimated and downplayed by most Western medical doctors.

Western medicine is often quite effective at quickly relieving or masking the symptoms of disease. Western medicine is also highly effective at treating acute injury, trauma and emergencies. However, Western medicine is challenged to successfully treat chronic and degenerative disease conditions because it fails to address the underlying cause of disease. Western medicine is also largely ineffective at keeping people healthy and preventing them from getting sick in the first place because of it’s reactive approach toward disease.

In contrast, naturopathic medicine is highly successfully at treating chronic and degenerative disease conditions because it addresses the root cause of disease. Naturopathy is also effective at prevention because of its proactive approach focused on bolstering your underlying health. In addition, naturopathic treatments are generally safe, natural and non-invasive.

As an example, taking the right antibiotic might quickly kill the bacteria in your MRSA infection and bring fast relief of your symptoms. But this therapy does not fix what caused the infection in the first place. And the antibiotics actually weaken your immune system, leaving you even more prone to re-infections. Other treatments, either in combination with or in place of antibiotics, are needed to address the root cause of your infection and repair your immune system to prevent re-infections.

How do You Find a Good Naturopath?

Ensure that your N.D. is well educated. One way to gauge education is where he or she went to school. There are four accredited naturopathic schools in North America that are highly respected:

  • Bastyr University, Seattle, Washington
  • Southwest College, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon
  • Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Ontario, Canada

Another beneficial gauge of education and professionalism is if the naturopath is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP). The AANP web site at www.naturopathic.org will give you a listing of qualified N.D.s in your area.

A good N.D. should take the time to gather extensive information from you about your diet, physical condition, lifestyle, stress level and emotional health initiating any treatments. He or she should use this information in combination with blood work and other tests to customize a treatment plan specific to your needs. Your treatment should be geared toward long-term restoration and maintenance of your health as much as alleviating your immediate symptoms.

It’s also important that your Naturopath have a balanced integrative view of medicine. Naturopathic medicine is outstanding if practiced correctly. Likewise, traditional Western medicine can also be outstanding if practiced correctly.

Tips for gauging a prospective N.D.:

  • Look for an N.D. with specific experience in treating and handling MRSA.
  • If possible, find an N.D. who is in partnership with Western medical doctors covered by your insurance.
  • Be very open and ask for their success rate in treating infections, including MRSA.
  • Ask how much they charge and how frequently they suggest seeing you.
  • Ask if your medical insurance is accepted and what services and products are covered.

 

Making the Most of Your Naturopath

As with any doctor, it’s important that you feel comfortable with your N.D. and have confidence with his or her professionalism, experience and training.

The nature of holistic and integrative medicine requires that you be proactive in your health. An N.D. will direct and guide you in natural ways to improve your infection, but it’s your responsibility to make the required changes. Making beneficial lifestyle changes will take effort on your part and can sometimes be difficult. To get the most from integrative medicine, it’s important to be a partner with your N.D. and to feel supported and encouraged.

Many people use naturopathic physicians as their primary physicians. Naturopathic medicine is very successful at treating most conditions that don’t involve trauma or emergencies. A naturopathic doctor can determine when Western medical care is necessary to supplement your naturopathic treatments and can help you find the best medical doctor.

If you are looking for a quick fix band-aid approach to handling MRSA, a naturopathic doctor may not be your best option. If you are willing to make changes in your lifestyle and put forth an effort for long-term success, than an N.D. can successfully help you treat your MRSA and make your body resistant to re-infection.

 

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Pears2295

 
 

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