Did you know that doctors, nurses, and other health professionals are more likely to use natural alternatives than the general public? In fact, a study published in Health Services Research says that 76% of health workers use complementary and alternative medicine. Specifically, doctors and nurses were twice as likely to use alternative healing modalities such as acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic manipulation, and yoga to treat certain conditions. So why aren’t these professionals encouraging their patients to use these safe and effective natural therapies? There are many reasons and some of them may surprise you.
Even though doctors are the trained professionals, it’s the insurance companies that issue the lists of treatments that will be covered. And unfortunately at the current time, alternative treatments don’t make the list even though many of them are safe, effective, and inexpensive.
The modern Western system of medicine is all about business – and a little bit about healing. In business, time is money. So doctors end up spending an average of seven minutes with their patients. That’s just long enough to make a quick diagnosis and write a prescription. It’s not enough time to discuss the advantages of natural medicine or the latest research in the field.
As far as mainstream medicine goes, unconventional treatments are not well accepted. Physicians who lean toward natural treatments are looked down upon by their peers and run the risk of being investigated by medical review boards. This peer pressure incites the fear being labeled a "quack."
The pharmaceutical industry is a multi-billion dollar a year industry that has a lot of heavy influence to say the least. Not only do the big pharmaceutical companies spend millions in advertising trying to persuade the general public that they need their products, but they have also been known to use unethical means to persuade doctors to prescribe their products. There are often big incentives like profitable kickbacks, fancy cars, and expensive vacations waiting for doctors who prescribe certain drugs. There are no such incentives for prescribing natural healing therapies.
About half of all Americans are taking prescription drugs on a regular basis. But a large percentage of doctors and nurses prefer alternative medicine according to recent studies. So why do doctors regularly prescribe pharmaceuticals, but rarely prescribe natural remedies that are safe and effective? Much of the reason has to do with the business of medicine. And business always boils down to money.