Naturopathic medicine is a treatment method that uses natural remedies to treat illnesses and support body healing system. It includes many therapies, such as herbal extracts, massage, nutritional counseling, acupuncture, and exercise. Although its treatments are centuries old, now it also combines traditional therapies with modern science.
How Does it Work?
The principal goal of naturopathic medicine is to address the health problems of the whole person (including body, mind, and spirit), rather than just treating the symptoms. It also intends to heal the root causes of illness.
A naturopathic doctor usually spends an hour examining you. He will take a comprehensive history of your illness, ask questions about your health, lifestyle habits, and stress levels. He may order lab tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Afterward, he will discuss your health plan. Naturopathic medicine concentrates on prevention and education, so your physician may give you stress management, diet, and exercise tips. In addition to naturopathic treatments, he might also use complementary medicine such as homeopathy, acupuncture, and herbal extracts to help address the symptoms. Use of naturopathic manipulative therapy like touch, pressure, and massage is also common to create balance in your body.
Will it Work for Your Condition?
Naturopathic medicine is used to heal several health issues. The common ones include:
- Digestive problems
- Fertility issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Hormonal imbalances
In some states, licensed naturopathic physicians are also authorized to prescribe certain medications and perform minor surgical procedures, like stitching up a small wound. Some naturopathic specialists also receive additional training in natural childbirth.
Naturopathy doesn't require you to be sick. It can help you prevent illness and boost your overall health. However, it is not an alternative to treating emergency conditions that require a visit to the hospital, like hemodynamically unstable conditions like cancer and heart disease or major surgeries.
In a majority of cases, you can use both naturopathic and conventional medicine to address a health problem. For instance, naturopathic remedies can help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients. Remember to tell your general physician about any naturopathic interventions you are going to receive. Similarly, you should inform your naturopathic doctor about the conventional medications you are on. That way, both health care providers can work as a team for relieve of your symptoms and better health.