Naturopathic medicine is a system that will use natural homeopathic remedies to help the body heal itself. This embraces many therapies, including acupuncture, exercise, massage, nutritional counseling, and herbs. Some of these treatments are centuries old. In today’s medicine, it combines modern science with traditional treatments.
The main goal of naturopathic medicine is to treat the person as a whole, meaning the spirit, body, and mind. The goal is to heal the root cause of the illness and not just treat any symptoms. A naturopathic doctor can spend one to two hours examining you. The doctor will ask questions about your stress levels, lifestyle habits, and health history. The doctor can also order some lab tests. After the examination, the doctor discusses your personal health plan. Since naturopathic medicine focuses on prevention and education, your doctor can give you exercise, diet, or stress management tips. There may also be complementary medicine, such as herbal medicine, natural homeopathic remedies, and acupuncture.
Who Practices Naturopathic Medicine?
You can find those who support naturopathic medicine in clinics, hospitals, and community centers, as well as private offices. They fall into three different groups with different backgrounds and educations.
Naturopathic Physicians: They have attended a four-year, graduate-level school. They learn the same basic sciences as conventional medical doctors, but will also study physiology, nutrition, and complementary therapies, such as homeopathy. Some states will require these doctors to be licensed and they have to take continuing education classes.
Traditional Naturopaths: This type of practitioner won’t attend an accredited school or get a license. Education can vary widely.
Healthcare Providers: Some medical doctors and nurses also have training in naturopathic medicine.
Before you choose a provider, ask about their education and training and be sure to check your state’s licensing requirements.
Will This Medicine Work for Your Condition?
Naturopathic medicine can be used for many different health issues. Some of the more common ones include headaches, fertility issues, allergies, digestive problems, hormonal imbalances, obesity, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue syndrome. In some states, a licensed naturopathic doctor can even perform minor surgeries, such as stitching up a wound. They can also prescribe certain medications. You don’t even have to be sick to try naturopathic medicine. You can use it to prevent illness and boost overall health. You shouldn’t use it for an emergency that requires a trip to the hospital and it shouldn’t take the place of conventional medicine for a serious condition, such as heart disease or cancer.
It’s good to keep your doctor in the loop and let him or her know if you are thinking of trying naturopathic medicine. This way, you can make sure your treatments aren’t interacting with other medicines you could be taking and are safe. You shouldn’t delay or stop conventional medicine because of naturopathic medicine.