Approaching health holistically, we as practitioners recognize the tremendous inherent healing ability of the body. We have a deep trust in the body's capacity to heal itself and we assist by gently guiding and supporting this remarkable faculty. Because of this, alternative therapies are not dependent on a diagnosis to be effective, although this is often helpful.
Conventional veterinary medicine works with the logical scientific process of deduction to diagnose a problem and apply specific medicines or surgical procedures to resolve the root of the problem, where this is possible, or to alleviate symptoms thereby giving the body time to bounce back. It is highly effective and often life saving for severe infections, trauma and many other conditions but has its limitations in the realm of some degenerative diseases.
Most importantly, vets are highly trained and exceptionally capable of monitoring an animal's quality of life and predicting the likely outcome of a set of symptoms. When an animal owner elects to treat their animal with alternative therapies, it is wise to have veterinary input in this area, especially if they are not responding well and their quality of life is deteriorating.
As health care professionals, the tools that we employ are diverse and address the dis-ease process from different angles. It is important to understand that there are many approaches to health care and to respect this principle and prioritize the health and well being of our animals.
Used hand in hand, conventional medicine and alternative therapies complement each other extremely well and when used appropriately this balanced approach ensures that animals are treated in the most effective and least invasive way possible to obtain and sustain long term optimal health.
There are many correct ways of doing things and to hit this point home, I'll close off with one of my favourite quotes:
"It's an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much.... Whilst all dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man – for precisely the same reason." – Douglas Adams