Naturopathic medicine, also known as alternative or holistic medicine, has inspired conventional medicine, and its value is still appreciated today.
The focus is on strengthening the inherent healing power of our bodies through nourishment and support. So we can heal the root cause of illness rather than suppress disease; and always beginning with the least invasive intervention.
Addressing the foundations of health:
Often ailments stem from poor core lifestyle factors.
A naturopathic doctor (ND) takes the time to remove obstacles to cure so that healing can take place.
Naturopathic practice includes the following diagnostic and therapeutic modalities:
Clinical and laboratory diagnostic testing
Intravenous and injection therapy
Naturopathic obstetrics (natural childbirth)
Physical medicine (manipulative therapy)
Public health measures
Depending on the naturopathic doctor you visit, they may focus on a few of these modalities as their strong suit.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
Do No Harm
Just as all healthcare professionals are taught, the first and foremost rule to medicine is to steer away from implementing anything that may cause more harm. Often this means less is more.
Healing Power of Nature
Water, soil and plants have the ability to change the gut microbiome as well as balance the nervous system. The human anatomy and all the biochemical pathways in between have the ability orchestrate healing when supported the appropriate way. In other words, your body has all the machinery it needs to cure itself and only needs support at best if it is struggling.
Treat the Cause
Conventional medicine prescribes medicine that aims to suppress symptoms than cure the illness at the source. This is actually beneficial in very few instances. Treating the root cause of illness is the mainstay of naturopathic medicine.
Doctor as Teacher
It is very important for every individual on a healing journey to understand what is happening within their bodies. Naturopathic doctors take the time to educate their patients on their health while providing guidance and support. Knowledge is the most empowering thing to someone who is struggling with their health without direction.
Treat the Whole Person
Treating and supporting other systems of the body in conjunction with the issues at hand prevents complications and ensures optimal health moving forward. Mental- emotional issues are usually ignored when treating other body system.
Most importantly, before our health begins to plummet, laying down foundations for prevention of disease is monumental. This principle can be implemented on a national or state level as well in the form of access to healthcare. Routine visits to your doctor can decrease the odds of missing a red flag that may become a chronic illness if left undetected.
The Therapeutic Order
Schematic of The therapeutic Order. A guideline to help physicians completely resolve the patient's symptoms and address the underlying cause while using the least force as safely as possible.
How to determine the validity of naturopathic doctors
Note that not all practitioners who call themselves "naturopaths" or "doctors in natural medicine" are naturopathic doctors. It is important to find out whether they graduated and obtained their certificate from a four year accredited institute. Also note that scope of practice varies between and within countries. Click here for a full list of accredited naturopathic medical institutes in North America.
You can also visit the following websites for more information regarding accreditation: