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By Katherine Gotthardt
It can be confusing sometimes, this thing we call “medicine.” And it gets even more confusing when we start thinking about allopathic (Western) versus alternative medicine. But Northern Virginia Alternative Health Practitioner Linda Dulicai aims to clear up some of the confusion. In a recent interview, Dulicai pointed out six aspects that mark the distinction between allopathic and alternative medicine.
1. Licenses and Certifications
Dulicai holds two certifications, which is different from holding the traditional license of a doctor. Certification depends on the discipline’s standards and the desire to learn. Dulicai is a Certified Natural Health Professional (CNHP) through Trinity College. She is also certified as an Advanced Loomis Health Digestive Specialist. Both certifications required her to take extensive studies in biochemistry and anatomy and physiology. She continues her education to maintain her certification as a Digestive Specialist.
2. Who makes the rules?
Alternative practitioners consider themselves traditional, as allopathic medicine has been around only since the 1800’s. Both Western doctors and Alternative Health Practitioners want to help people, Dulicai says. The big difference is traditional doctors have constraints put on them by pharmaceutical and insurance companies. “Western doctors can’t always do what they want to do because they have to follow strict protocols,” says Dulicai.
Alternative Health Practitioners are not governed by the same protocols because they have a different approach. Dulicai says she has many tools in her tool bag, many paths she can choose from for her clients.
3. Treatment vs. Prevention
The differences in how medicine is practiced began back in the 1800’s when there was a split between professionals who used chemicals and professionals who used herbs. “The chemical world won,” Dulicai says. The problem is, she says, “The healthcare system is a sickness system. It’s not preventative. It’s ruled by who can get reimbursement by health insurance companies.
“Doctors handle symptoms. If you have a headache, they give you something to block the headache… There’s not a lot we can do about it except go our own way and request that the legislative battles to put us out of business be stopped.”
4. “What?” but not “Why?”
Because of the way insurance works, doctors are also required to use recognized names for conditions but do not ask “why?” says Dulicai, who worked in health insurance from 1970 to the early 90’s, while at the same time learning alternative practices. She says up until the Reagan years, doctors had to give a cause for a diagnosis. Then, they were not required to do so.
“In alternative med, we want to know why. Why is your body acting out in this peculiar manner?
It is illegal for us to say we treat and cure. However, alternative practitioners believe given the right support, the body will heal itself.
Disease is literally dis-ease. We’re looking for deficiencies, the out-of-sync. I don’t think any of us care what it is called. Feed the systems that need support, and allow body to heal itself.”
5. The Hope in Alternative Medicine
Dulicai says books and media are filled with stories of people improving or their symptoms going away from things that are not recognized by chemical-based Western medicine. “A good percent of doctors have no compunction about telling someone they are going to die - giving people a death sentence - or telling someone they have to live with a condition,” she says. “There is always something to be done, even if it’s only to give someone hope or improve quality of life for whatever time they have left. No one knows for sure when someone has crossed the line.
“In alternative med, we say we’re not God. We don’t know. We’re not you. We don’t know how far back your body will be able to take you.” She says she has never heard of an Alternative Practitioner saying, “You have three months to live.”
6. What’s the prognosis?
Dulicai says, “What they teach you in medical school is based on the body working fully, being able to do all its functions. What I work with is to find what functions are not being done well. The bio chem I’ve studied is that of a dysfunctional body rather than the perfect specimen.”
From the way medicine is taught in the college to the way it is practiced in the office, Dulicai says that things have gotten out of control, making it even more important for Alternative Health Practitioners to continue working. “Medicine has backed itself into a corner,” she says, “and I don’t think they can figure out how to get out of it.”
A practitioner for more than 38 years, Linda Dulicai is a Certified Natural Health Professional and an Advanced Loomis Digestive Health Specialist educated in more than 25 modalities of wellness. She is CEO of The Healthy Zone.