Naturopathy / Naturopathic Medicine
Q: What is naturopathy and naturopathic medicine?
A: Naturopathy is a traditional approach to health that is holistic, meaning that it encompasses the whole being. It is based on natural and preventative care. Naturopathic medicine combines many methodologies, such as acupuncture, massage, chiropractic adjustment, homeopathy and herbal cures, along with sensible concepts such as good nutrition, exercise and relaxation techniques. Some refer to it as “alternative care”, which is ironic, since naturopathy and naturopathic medicine are rooted in many age-old remedies that predate what’s known as “modern medicine”. A core concept is one of “doing no harm”, and complementing any necessary treatment. The terms naturopathy and naturopathic medicine are often interchangeable.
Q: How popular is complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among the public?
A: Sixty-eight percent of adults have used at least one kind of alternative or complementary therapy. In hospitals and integrative clinics, treating ailments from menopause to cancer, public use of CAM is on the rise. Source: Harvard Medical School survey, Annals of Internal Medicine, August 2001.
Q: What are the fundamental principles of naturopathic medicine?
A: The six fundamental principles of naturopathic medicine are principles adhered to by naturopathic doctors, similar to the Hippocratic Oath. They are:
- The Healing Power of Nature: Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself.
- Identify and Treat the Causes: Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause.
- First, Do No Harm: Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
- Doctor as Teacher: Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
- Treat the Whole Person: View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions.
- Prevention: Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.
What is Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopathic doctors combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and addressing the impediments to health. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic doctors help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic doctor’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.
NDs address all medical conditions and can provide both individual and family health care. Among the most common ailments they address are allergies, chronic pain, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, obesity, respiratory conditions, auto-immune conditions, fertility problems, menopause, adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The emphasis of naturopathic medicine is the use of natural healing agents.
Are Naturopathic Doctors licensed by the state?
Naturopathic Doctors are currently licensed in 17 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Currently, the state of North Carolina does not issue licenses for the practice of Naturopathic Medicine.
Do Naturopathic Doctors work with conventional Medical Doctors?
Naturopathic doctors are trained to work with MD’s. It is important that all healthcare professionals work together for the benefit of patients. Naturopathic doctors are trained to both understand the effects of pharmaceutical medications and to avoid treatments which may negatively interact with them. Naturopathic doctors work in private practices, hospitals, clinics and community health centers. NDs practice throughout the United States and Canada. The use of Naturopathic medicine is increasing in our society. Medical doctors and Naturopathic doctors are increasingly working together to combine the best of their modalities to improve patient outcomes.
Naturopathic Medicine FAQs
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is derived from a Hippocratic teaching more than 2,000 years old: Vis medicatrix naturae – nature is the healer of all.
The goal of naturopathic medicine is to uncover the underlying cause of illness rather than treating symptoms, to understand each patient as an individual, and to develop personalized recommendations for obtaining optimal health.
Why see a Naturopathic Doctor?
- Would you like to address a health concern in a natural way?
- Have you been unsuccessful with traditional treatments?
- Are you hoping to combine natural substances with your prescription medications or reduce your current medications?
- Are you serious about disease prevention and optimizing your health?
Can I still see my MD?
Absolutely! We can work as a team to reach your health goals, whether it is relief from a specific disease, supportive therapies that will not conflict with your current medications, or achieving optimal wellness.
Do Naturopaths work with children?
Yes. In fact, because naturopathic medicine addresses the root cause of disease, children often benefit the most because a stronger foundation for positive health is established earlier in life. In addition, the therapeutics of naturopathic medicine can be the safest type of medicine because there are little to no side effects associated with treatment.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is based on the principle that “like cures like,” which means that a substance that can cause symptoms in a healthy person, can stimulate healing of similar symptoms in a sick person.
Homeopathy offers individualized treatment based on a person’s physical, mental and emotional symptoms. The choice of a homeopathic remedy depends on the unique characteristics of each person.
Homeopathy is highly effective in treating both acute and chronic conditions safely and cost effectively.