To your good health: Therapeutic order

The therapeutic order: what it is, why you should care.

First of all, what is the therapeutic order?

Let me tell you. It’s the grouping of therapies into categories from least invasive to most invasive. Less invasive therapies have lower risks and fewer side effects, but take longer to work. More invasive therapies work faster but have higher risks and can have more side effects.

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Here’s a brief overview of each category:

  • Lifestyle interventions that establish the foundations of health (diet, exercise, stress management)
  • Support the body’s ability to heal itself (homeopathy, reiki, acupuncture, etc.)
  • Treat the physical body, correcting structural alignment (chiropractic adjustments or massage)
  • Targeted natural therapies (herbal medicine)
  • Targeted supplemental therapies (nutritional supplements)
  • Pharmaceutical medications
  • Surgery

More severe conditions need a higher level of intervention. Surgery and pharmaceutical medications are essential and life-saving in severe conditions. Ideally, your doctor would start with the lowest possible level based on the severity of your condition. But many people start with pharmaceutical medications or surgery because it’s quicker and easier.

The thing is, you’ll often achieve better results if you start at the beginning of the therapeutic order. Of course, not all conditions will completely go away with lower level interventions. But with a strong foundation, your body will respond better to any treatments – including surgery and pharmaceuticals.

That is why you should care about the therapeutic order.

Imagine two houses that both look similar from the outside. One house has a strong foundation, and is solidly built. The second house has a weaker foundation and some structural issues. Next, imagine a big storm that comes along and damages both houses. The first house, with its strong foundation, could weather the storm with minimal damage. The second house got a lot of damage, and is now in need of major repairs. Both houses need repairs, but the house with the stronger foundation could withstand the storm. The second house needs near-complete renovation.

The foundations of these houses are like the foundations of health. With a strong foundation, you’ll be able to better withstand illness and recover faster with less treatment. And even if you do end up needing strong interventions, you’ll be able to recover more efficiently.

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Bodies are great at healing themselves, and they’re constantly working to return us to a state of balance. They know how to heal cuts, how to fight infection, and how to warm us up and cool us down. If everything is working right, we don’t even feel our bodies working to heal.

The advantage of using the therapeutic order is that it allows the body to most of the healing work. This means that we’ll get lasting results with fewer side effects. And that means you’ll get healthier and stay that way.

Avatar photo Dr. Lorraine & Dr. Katy (30 Posts)

Drs. Katy and Lorraine have been colleagues and close friends since 2013. More recently, they collaborated on a series of blog posts to get the word out about the most powerful ways to get and stay healthy. Dr. Katy practices in mid-coast Maine and Dr. Lorraine practices in eastern Oregon.

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