Natural medicine is an integral part of the national health care system in the Netherlands. This system also exists in many European countries such as Germany and Switzerland.
One large scale study examined the satisfaction in 3782 patients seeing either a conventional doctor or a complementary medicine (CM) practitioner such as naturopath, herbalist and chiropractic.
The results show that patients seeing a natural medicine practitioner reported better clinical outcome for almost every condition especially fever, numbness, shortness of breath, constipation, dizziness, skin rash, depression, cough and skin itching.
Main reasons could be CM is focused on primary prevention such as diet, lifestyle, counselling, spirituality and natural substances and addressing the root causes of diseases. There is greater emphasis on healing relationship between patient and the practitioner. A natural medicine practitioner may take 30 minutes to an hour in each consultation to understand the patient’s condition and needs.
Source: Oojendijk, WTM, Mackenbach, JP, Limberger, HHB (1980). What is better? An investigation into the use and satisfaction with complementary and official medicine in the Netherlands. Netherlands Institute of Preventive Medicine and Technical Industrial Organisation, London UK.