Monday, January 19, 2009

Modern Medicine: A Guide to the Future of Medicine (Part I)

Naturopathic medicine is the art and science of natural medicine that was originally developed over 100 years ago. The practice of naturopathy is based on thousands of years of knowledge of plant medicine combined with a philosophy of healing and modern, evidence-based natural therapeutics.

I am a Naturopathic physician, a licensed, primary care doctor who specializes in natural medicine. I identify and correct the underlying causes of chronic disease. An ND is trained in general medicine similarly to the MD including the basic medical sciences, diagnostics, physical examination, and laboratory testing. In Washington, and in many of the 14 states where it is regulated, naturopathic medicine is complete primary care medicine requiring no other interventions except in the case a patient desires it or it is deemed medically necessary to refer to another specialist or in an emergency situation.

As technology in medicine progresses, natural traditions in medicine continue, passed down from generations and borrowed from cultures.  These traditions are oblivious to whether or not people “believe” in them for they are not part of a religion. They are part of history.  People used traditional remedies for a health complaint or illness and it cured them.   Most doctors now days have excised that word from their vocabulary.

More than fifty percent of today's pharmaceuticals are synthetic or altered versions of something found in nature so that a company could patent it and charge larger sums of money to make bigger profits. This is illustrated beautifully in National Geographic's "Nature's Medicine; Plants that Heal". Any pharmacist, doctor, or other medical professional who thinks natural "remedies" don't work do not know the history of their own medicine.

Natural therapies can have miraculous actions especially when you did not think it was going to be effective. Those who have been waiting in vain until the proper research study came along to “prove” its efficacy and not acknowledging its history are being left behind. However, medicine alone, natural or otherwise, is not the answer.

At the forefront of modern medicine are the world’s most highly trained practitioners of these Natural therapies who also uphold the gold standards in medicine pertaining to diagnostics and responsible patient care.The pendulum has swung once again, I introduce to you the Modern Doctor; the Naturopathic Physician. 


  1. Hello Dr. Crawford,

    Thank you for the history and perspective. Thank you for all you have done for me and my family! You are amazing!

  2. Thanks Gabriel! Please consider subscribing to my blog and tell anyone you think may be interested! Stay tuned, the rest of the story is coming....

  3. Hi Dr. Crawford

    Excellent article. I don't think this type of information can be said enough in our society today as conventional medicine has just failed too many people and made health a standardized commodity all too much.

    It is thus great to learn as much as possible about the field of naturopathy as I know many people are curious, but hesitant as they just don't know enough. So the more info out there on this the better.

    To me naturopathy is the way of the future and had I been exposed to it when I was going to university, I would have chosen that degree over the strict science one any day. Now I am increasing my knowledge and getting certified as a holistic nutritionist and hopefully pursue that to become a natural health care practitioner too.

  4. Thanks Evita,
    I agree that conventional medicine is trapped in a system that can not sustain itself and not only that, it can not progress into the wellness model, so its the patients who suffer. The limitations are complex but are mostly due to "health" insurance and pharmaceutical companies. This is why integration with doctors who are experts in natural therapeutics is necessary. Many doctors (and other conventional practitioners) are cultivated to think a certain way in school and therefore close their minds to things they don't understand. I think Dr. Oz is a great role model for all doctors; just because he doesn't understand something doesn't mean it doesn't work, and this is why he is so successful. It seems so simple and obvious to encourage health and healing first if you are going to call yourself a doctor. Yet every doctor cannot possibly know everything about what supports and accelerates healing and which drugs block which enzymes to help a symptom and how to intubate a patient. This is why we have specialists and since specialties did not exist in the field of Naturopathy within medical schools we had to open our own medical schools. We don't have the big pharma money to do research on on every fruit, nut, and twig found in nature and most times our approach is so multi factorial anyway that it would only give us part of the picture. Anyway, thanks for stimulating this discussion and I'm glad you enjoyed my article. I hope you continue to visit my blog!

  5. Dr.Iris,

    Well said (written)! I will be visiting your blog often to keep my vis stimulated.

    With appreciation,