This sort of terminology is not something that most people dwell on—after all, if something is labeled as “medicine,” wouldn’t it go without saying that it is also professional and therapeutic? One would assume so, but a problem may also lie within those same assumptions.
We have been re-examining those three words because we think that their meaning has been assumed for far too long. In our reflection, we have realized that these terms are critical to the natural health industry—so critical that we have structured our company around them.
Let’s take a moment to consider each of these terms.
The definition of “professional” can differ depending on the industry; however, no matter the industry, being professional carries weight. It conjures confidence—“professionals” know what they are doing. They have personally put in the time and research to make a product or a cause successful. Professionals don’t just get by; they go above and beyond. Likewise, any professional product should meet the same bar. From sourcing to packaging, every detail matters in a professional product.
“Therapeutic” means that what you’re doing will improve your quality of life. Therapeutic practices are designed for healing. Although both may be pleasant, there is a world of difference between a quick massage from a friend "masseuse" and a therapeutic massage from a professional massage therapist. On some level, we seem to inherently recognize “therapeutic” when we see or experience it; it’s the thing that keeps us coming back for more. However, if we do not maintain a level of discernment, we can easily fall prey to flash without substance.
For many, “medicine” is equivalent to “drugs” or “prescriptions.” Undoubtedly, this is due in no small part to the looming influence of the pharmaceutical industry. Still, when considering the idea of medicine as something that helps to treat an illness, do prescriptions really fit the bill? They may help a person function in spite of one health issue, but they also come with a laundry list of potential side effects—essentially, patients end up trading one difficulty for several others. Is a medicine that can compound health concerns really deserving of the title?
As we have seen, professional, therapeutic medicine might be a rarer find than we like to think. If the professional health industry wants to truly be a viable alternative to prescription drugs, we must consistently uphold all of these standards. We cannot bring anything less than our best to the table. This must be our mission statement. Professional, therapeutic medicine must have strong health claims that can be backed by science in order to produce a professional product; and be carefully formulated in order to have genuine therapeutic value; and, be designed to be real medicine in every sense of the word.
Eldon Dahl is a trained naturopath, and the Founder and CEO of Life Choice® nutraceutical product line www.lifechoice.net.
“Your body is so precious. It is your vehicle for awakening. Treat it with great care.” -Gautama Buddha