What is Naturopathy? Many people often ask before seeing me, what is Naturopathy? Naturopathy is an alternative medicinal practice, that is older and I believe, wiser than Western Medicine. Naturopathy is a practice that in many places around the world, is not alternative at all. It just makes sense. Naturopathy is the medicinal practice that follows natural philosophy toward health. Some of its core philosophical and practical stances are the following:
- The Human body is designed to heal itself.
- The human body is a complex network of systems that need to be in balance in order for them to work properly.
- The human body responds best to natural methods for preventing fighting, healing from illnesses and disease, and maintaining health.
What Do Naturopathic Doctors Do? Based on these underlying presuppositions to the philosophy of Naturopathy—a Naturopathic Doctors is able to practice the medicinal approach in the following ways:
- The Naturopathic Doctor uses diet, exercise, nutritional supplements, lifestyle change, and new research-based natural therapies to prevent, and fight disease and restore health as well as educates you on how to take control over your own health.
- Unlike common approaches in Western medicine—Naturopathic Doctors seek to find the root of the problem and treat your symptoms, not just cover them up.
- The Naturopathic Doctor treats the whole patient—he or she factors in not just your physical health, but your emotional, genetic and environmental influences, social, and spiritual elements of the patient.
- The Naturopathic Doctor uses modern medical technology and science as well as natural medical approaches to diagnose and create a comprehensive blended treatment plan for each individual patient based on your whole health profile.
- The Naturopathic Doctor advocates, encourages, and supports natural self-healing—allowing your body to heal itself. The Naturopath enhances and/or restores the body’s ability to self-heal through diet and changing to a healthy lifestyle.
- The Naturopathic Doctor advocates gentle healing—using non-harming, pharmaceutical drug free treatment such as herbs, homeopathic remedies, acupuncture, as well as vitamin and mineral supplements.
What Education Does a Naturopath Have? Naturopathic doctors go through the same basic education as medical doctors but also take additional courses that teach them how to diagnose, and holistically prevent and treat disease. They need to complete their undergraduate degree and fulfill the prerequisites before being accepted into the four year Naturopathic Medical school program. Some of the additional courses taught are homeopathy, whole foods cooking, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, psychology/counseling.
What Can I Expect At A Naturopath’s Office? Because Naturopathic Doctors treat the whole person, they do strive to spend more time with each patient. This is to accurately get your whole health profile and determine a customized comprehensive treatment plan for you in order to prevent, diagnose, and treat your ailments. Naturopaths will also refer you to other health practitioners if needed. Typically the first session will take 60-90 minutes and follow up sessions will take 30-60 minutes long. The times needed for the visits are needed to get your health history, determine what tests/labs needs to be done and to write up a treatment program. On your first visit, I like patients to bring in all their supplements and medications and, if possible copies of previous labs that have been done.