What is A Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopathic Doctors have been becoming increasingly more popular as people have been seeking a more natural approach to their health. Whether they are looking for a more natural way to heal or traditional medicine does not work for them they choose to try alternative medicine or “Self Healing”. Naturopathic doctors employ an array of natural, non-invasive, and less toxic therapies. But you may be wondering what exactly they do and what makes them different from medical doctors. Many have questions about the details about Naturopathic Doctors and this article aims to address some of them.
Is a Naturopathic Doctor a real Doctor?
Naturopathic Doctors are trained in naturopathic medicine and attend a Naturopathic medical College. They generally complete a 4-year, graduate-level program at one of the North American naturopathic medical schools accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education, an organization recognized for accreditation purposes by the U.S. Department of Education. They study the same course work as Medical Doctors and take a professional Board exam to become licensed but are not recognized as medical doctors. Naturopathic medicine combines Western science, natural therapies, and holistic approaches to treat health conditions.These therapies can be used both as primary and complementary treatment. There are also Traditional naturopaths, also known simply as “naturopaths,” that may receive training in a variety of ways. Training programs vary in length and content and are not accredited by organizations recognized for accreditation purposes by the U.S. Department of Education. Traditional naturopaths are often not eligible for licensing.
What exactly does a Naturopath do?
Naturopathic Doctors treat holistically by looking at each patient as a whole person, rather than focusing on one specific symptom, disease or diagnosis. They are highly trained at diagnosing and rely on the least invasive and least toxic therapies to address the underlying causes of health issues. They also specialize in preventative care and establish habits to help ward off health issues later. Naturopathic physicians use a blend of traditional treatment methods, such as performing minor surgery and ordering labs or x-rays and holistic therapies, such as leveraging botanical medicine to manage a broad range of health conditions. They also use therapies such as:
- Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
- Stress Reduction
- Herbs and other Dietary supplements
- Manipulative Therapies
- Exercise Therapies
- Practitioner guided detoxification
- Psychotherapy and Counseling
What Can Naturopathic Doctors Treat?
Naturopathic Doctors treat a wide range of chronic and acute ailments including:
- chronic pain
- digestive issues
- hormonal imbalances
- respiratory conditions
- heart disease
- fertility problems
- stress-related conditions
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- high blood pressure
- mental health concerns (e.g., depression, anxiety)
- neurodegenerative conditions
- autoimmune conditions (e.g., thyroid disease, lupus)
- autism and ADHD
- chronic skin conditions
- chronic infections
Acute conditions treated by NDs include:
- infections (e.g., ear infections)
- strep throat
- skin rashes
- urinary tract infections
- musculoskeletal conditions and injuries
Naturopathic Physicians can be a great option for people looking to try a more natural approach to their health. They are highly trained physicians that choose to use a less invasive, less toxic, way of treating and preventing disease. They are masters at diagnosing and looking at the patient’s body as a whole and finding all the underlying issues as opposed to just looking at one symptom, ailment, or diagnosis. Many people choose to see Naturopathic Doctors for preventative health and keeping their mind and body as healthy as possible. Naturopathic medicine can be a great option for many and if you are not sure if it is right for you a consultation with a Naturopathic doctor could not hurt to discover if they fit your needs.
“Naturopathic Medicine.” The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education, cnme.org/naturopathic-medicine-an-overview/.
“Naturopathy.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/naturopathy.
Nunez, Kirsten. “Are Holistic Doctors Real Doctors? The Principles of Holistic Medicine.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 24 June 2020, http://www.healthline.com/health/holistic-doctor#what-holistic-doctors-do. Team, NUHS. “What Is a Naturopathic Doctor and What Can They Do?” The Future of Integrative Health, blog.nuhs.edu/the-future-of-integrative-health/what-is-a-naturopathic-doctor-and-what-can-they-do.
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