Does Naturopathic Medicine Work?
The simple answer is that, yes, naturopathic medicine works. However, traditional and naturopathic doctors have different ideas of what it means for a treatment to work. In traditional medicine, a treatment has succeeded when your symptoms go away. In naturopathic medicine, a treatment has succeeded when all the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your issue have been addressed.
People often assume that naturopaths operate outside scientific principles, but the techniques used in naturopathic and holistic medicine have a strong basis in research. For example, traditional medicine recognizes that stress or anxiety can cause physical symptoms. While medications can ease the symptoms of anxiety and stress, a naturopathic doctor will work to find ways to reduce the stress and improve your overall wellness.
What Does a Naturopathic Doctor Do?
Naturopathic doctors practice a type of holistic medicine. This means naturopathy focuses on the whole person, not just their physical symptoms. A naturopathic doctor often has a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Medicine, meaning that they have gone through years of training to earn the title.
A visit with a naturopathic doctor will differ from one with a traditional doctor from the beginning. You can expect that you will engage in an in-depth discussion with the naturopathic doctor not just about your medical concerns but also about your lifestyle, nutrition, and general wellness.
Naturopathic medicine follows a set of principles that describe its philosophy.
First, Do No Harm
All naturopathic treatments are safe and will not cause any side effects. Naturopathic doctors do not recommend any treatments that could cause harm or side effects.
For holistic medicine, the ultimate healer is not the doctor but nature. The body wants to heal itself and has the mechanisms to do so, but it cannot heal when other factors are out of balance.
Treat Causes, Not Symptoms
While traditional medicine suppresses symptoms with medication, a naturopathic doctor will seek the causes of your symptoms. When the cause has been addressed, the symptoms will go away.
Use a Holistic Approach
Holistic medicine promotes healing by nurturing the mind, body, and spirit. It views each person as unique and designs a treatment plan based on your needs and goals.
Educate and Empower
Much of a naturopathic doctor’s job is educating people in ways to improve their overall wellness. Whether this means learning to eat a customized diet or making lifestyle changes to decrease your stress levels, a naturopathic doctor always makes time to educate and encourage people.
Prevention is the Best Cure
Using everything from lifestyle assessment to DNA analysis, a naturopathic doctor will tailor their recommendations specifically to you. Recommendations are made only after a full assessment of your unique risk factors.
When a person feels truly well, they feel in balance and whole. Wellness is a state of alignment in all aspects of a person’s life, including how they react to their environment and how they treat themselves.