"Food Hygiene and Nutrition" is a worthy example of a paper on food and nutrition. Nutritional medicine is unifying nutrition and treatment to improve health, cure disease, and prevent sickness. Similarly, experts in the field trust that natural healing such as herbal medicine, homeopathy, diet, nutritional supplements, acupressure, and other modalities, which are sometimes called ‘ complementary’ therapies, can complement and support each other in building good health. For this reason, this paper will critically compare Nutritional Medicine with other modalities such as herbal medicine, nutritional counseling, and aromatherapy. It will also explore the need for integration of these modalities and mainstream medicine in the 21st century. Nutritional Medicine “ Nutritional medicine refers to the interdisciplinary knowledge in the fields of human nutrition and medicine for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disease” (Shikora and Blackburn 1997, p. 3).
Nutritional medicine is generally perceived as utilizing diet, food, and dietary supplements to improve health. Nutrition is used to prevent sickness, remedy a particular health problem, and support overall health and well-being. In general, dietitians, dietetic technicians, registered dietitians, nutritionists, nutritional consultants, and dietary counselors are regarded as specialists in promoting food, healthy eating, and lifestyles to promote health (Tierney 1999, p. 95).
However, holistic nutritionists perceived health as a complex system that includes physiological, emotional, and spiritual issues. They care for the whole person and utilized unorthodox means such as herbal medicine to help clients. This nutritionist explores various variables affecting the individual mind and body to see how well our body absorbs nutrients. They are diverse from traditional dietitians as they hold a more comprehensive view of health and well-being and consider more factors in providing health care (Tierney 1999, p. 95). Nutritional Medicine and Herbs The science of ‘ herbology’ had been around for centuries, and it is considered a standard healing method in virtually all cultures of the world.
Vegetation and its elements such as roots, leaves, flowers, or berries have apparent pharmacological activity in our bodies, ranging from very light to strong effects. According to Hass (1992, p. 273), the system of pharmaceutical medicine is based on the familiarity and impact of herbal medicine, where the active components discovered in the plants were collected and manufactured to produce ‘ patent medicines.
Modern pharmacology has deep roots in herbal medicine. For instance, the use of the herb mahuang or ephedra can be traced back several thousand years. Its primary ingredients, ephedrine, and synthetic version pseudoephedrine are used by pharmaceutical companies today to counter cold and allergy (Zand et al. 1999, p. 9). However, herbal remedies used independently or mixed are more restrained than most drugs, thus more practical for minor problems or prevention. Alternatively, nutritional medicine promotes healthy eating and supplementation, and as discussed earlier, a ‘ complementary medicine’ comparable to herbal medication. However, herbal medicine alone cannot support people’ s nutritional needs, thus taking dietary supplements.
Nutritional therapy is all about eating the right food and taking vitamin and mineral supplements; therefore, herbal medicine, a good accompaniment with proven medicinal value, can complement or support nutritional therapy to create better health. Nutritional Medicine and Counselling Nutritional medicine is not just the rectification of nutrient disproportions concern with controlling a particular disease process by dietary means (Leddy 2003, p. 406). It is generally supporting a healthy diet and nutritional supplementation of vitamins and minerals for individuals to meet their nutritional requirements and avoid sickness (Powell 1999, p. 262).
Nutritional counseling alternatively is a mixture of nutritional expertise and psychological skill that is centered on foods and the value of nutrients they have (Snetselaar 1997, p. 3). It is an exceptionally significant element of a cognitive behavioral therapy approach to eating disorders (Gilbert 2005, p. 77). It helps people at all levels of health by fortifying their body, mind, and spirit. Nutritional counseling is not exclusively for the sick. Those who are well and healthy can also take advantage of counseling to ensure they are eating the right food, sustain their health, and enhance their energy.
Nutritional counseling according to (Tierney 1999, p. 96) is harmless and can only benefit a client regardless of their health problem or goal. However, nutritional medicine promotion without nutritional counseling skills is pointless as people particularly those with eating disorders require more encouragement. They probably would not take nutritional medicine seriously without administering behavioral therapy and an appropriate mindset. Nutritional medicine like herbs and other natural remedies is less effective independently and must be supplemented with other forms of modalities like counseling. Nutritional Medicine and Aromatherapy Aromatherapy according to Keville and Green (1995, p. 9) can reduce stress, improve sleep, and give us more energy.
Aromatherapy uses the aroma essential oils from plants and flowers to influence a person’ s disposition and emotion, and produce favorable physical effects such as lowered blood pressure. However, how it is possible is still ambiguous but some researchers articulate that scents affect feelings as our nasal passage opens directly onto the part of the brain that controls emotion and memory. Psychic healers believe that fragrances work on subtle, still undiscovered energies in the body.
Others trust that aroma compounds interact with receptor sites in the central nervous systems. Conversely, regardless of their belief and assumption, it is far more pragmatic to accept that aromatherapy acclimatized the mind and body through fragrances instead of nutrition and supplements. Similar to herbs and other complementary medicine, aromatherapy cannot stand on its own to support health. Aromatherapy needs nutrition in order to support good health consistently as conditioning the mind and body through some kind of hypnotic abstraction produced by fragrances in plants is just temporary relief and possesses no nutritional value. “ Often, just changing one’ s dietary habits immediately promotes better health” (Barney 1998, p.
14). Apparently, people need to eat to maintain good health because, through a healthy diet, people can prevent sickness and treat specific health problems. Nutritional medicine combines healthy food and supplements thus aromatherapy, as a supplement, can be used to condition a person’ s mind and body of a person to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The Need for Integration Holistic medicine’ s adoption of numerous healing modalities is gaining considerable public attention and approval (Floyd and St.
John. 1998, p. 140). This is because natural medicines are harmless, pure, effective, and cheaper than traditional medical treatments (Weil 2004, p. 9). Evidenced by various multidisciplinary clinics in the United States where medical practitioners such as a naturopathic physician, acupuncturist, nutritionist, homeopaths, chiropractors, and counselors are working together in an integrated manner, treating the patient as a whole person, complementary medicines are undeniably accepted as an effective form of treatment. In addition, natural healing systems are much more widely used as the World Health Organization reports that 80% of the world’ s population relies on natural healing as their primary form of health care.
Increasingly, medical doctors are recognizing the safety and effectiveness of natural medicines and there are physicians who recommend herbal medicines, homeopathic remedies, and dietary changes for their patients. Already, a clear link has been established between diet and health. For instance, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society have all published dietary guidelines to promote health. Conventional and complementary healthcare practitioners alike stressed the role of nutrition as essential to the healing process (Zand et.
al. 1999, p. 8). Conclusion Nutrition undeniably promotes good health, prevents illness, and treats specific health problems. Similarly, natural medicines such as herbs and other modalities are safe and effective, and a more economical way to treat illness. Nutritional medicine promotes healthy eating and supplementation thus complete and more effective in promoting good health. Supplementing a healthy diet with the healing powers of natural medicines definitely has its advantage over conventional medical treatment. The need for integration of these modalities and mainstream medicine in our time is clearly unavoidable since good health depends on the combination of a healthy diet and natural medicines.
More importantly, natural medicines are safe and effective, and cheaper than standard medical treatments.
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