Deciding which modality of natural treatment to use for what ailments is an art form which you will evolve over time and use of all the forms. Best way to begin is, of course, to have professional support while you develop your knowledge and skill at discerning the distinctions of each.
The medicines distinguish themselves by the ways they treat. Homeopathic medicine is distinct in that it is a potentized energetic medicine that works very effectively in subtle, no side effects fashion. Acupuncture works energetically in the acupuncture treatment, and combines herbal support that is extremely and distinctively nutritive. Naturopathy often includes both Homeopathy and Acupuncture as well as Western natural medicines, supplements and herbs.
For instance when we are just getting a “common cold” there are many different beginning scenarios. First stage can be slight fever with achy muscles, or slight fever with scratchy sore throat, or slight fever with headache. From a long experience, I have found that fever with achy muscles is the perfect beginning to indicate the use of the homeopathic Osccilococcynum. For the fever with a scratchy throat the best first stage treatment is a chinese herb formula, Yin Qiao. For the first stage slight fever with headache and chinese formula Ma Huang is the best.
All of these conditions will not respond to these first stage treatments if they have progressed too long, you must catch them at the very first sign of the symptoms. Sometimes when I have waited until just 4 hrs after noticing the first symptom (perhaps I am out and away from my pharmacy) it is too late for these first stage treatments to work. Then they would graduate to stronger treatments, different chinese formula`s and homeopathics.
Sometimes the healthfood store solutions work just fine. I like Airborne as an all over, easy to use and access, beginning for fending off a cold. It often works. Some people prefer EmergenC, or Echinacea and Goldenseal separate or together. These would all be Naturopathic treatment choices.
It is up to you to try all of these choices, experience which ones work the best, fastest, and easiest on you because we are all different and respond differently at different times in our lives. You will, after some experience develop an ability to know what herbs and homeopathics to have at home in your pharmacy, which ones to take with you when you travel, which ones to leave in your car, purse, etc. so they are accessible quickly.
All of us have the ability to grow this talent, and to treat ourselves for most of the simple sicknesses we develop. We do need professional help to begin our education of the available options, and to diagnose correctly and refer us to the appropriate other professionals who we will need to help us. It is a wonderful educational process, takes time, builds new relationships, and grows yourself as you go. You can create an ever evolving, informed ability to choose which professional to go to for guidance as well as which medicine to use for the easiest of self treatments. It can be a fun and easy exploration that will be greatly rewarding.