Hi Di_dee, sorry to hear what you've been through, I agree people who try to make you believe that drinking protein drinks and doing the hokey pokey will cure everything are not only irresponsible they are morally reprehensible.
I am a qualified massage therapist and aromatherapist which means I have actually studied the chemical make up of essential oils it doesn't mean I just picked up a bottle of lavendar one day and thought it smelt good. I love using meditation, aromatherapy and massage but I also strongly believe that they are complimentary therapies not alternate therapies and I would never advocat ignoring medical science. Like you say a lot of today's medicine came from natural products but they have been refined and often chemically synthesised to make them much more effective.
For me its a question of balance, I like to use natural therapies where I can to limit my body's exposure to strong chemical medicines where possible, but its a question of what you are trying to treat. I have assisted people with cancer through aromatherapy to deal with some of the symptoms of chemo like feeling sick, loss of appetite, stress etc, but I would never claim that I was curing the cancer or try to talk them out of chemo!
Similarly for myself if I am feeling anxious or having difficulties sleeping I would rather burn some oils, listen to a meditation tape etc than take a sleeping pill, however I take anti-depressants because I know I need them. I would rather have a head massage when I have a headache than take a panadol but if I have a migraine nothing in the world can get between me and my prescription pain killers!
I guess what I was after by starting this thread was to find out if people had tried natural therapies for their dogs and for what conditions with what success rate. For example I will be making specific shampoo for my dog using essential oils to deter fleas and ticks hoping that I will not have to use as many chemicals on my dog. I am also going to formulate skin creams as bulldogs are prone to skin conditions. However if my little baby gets bitten by a snake or breaks a leg, I'm not going to sit there waving a crystal over it hoping it will get better, I'm going to bundle that poor little baby into the car and get it to the vet asap!