What Is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a unique and comprehensive approach to improving health and treating illness in individuals. The human body has powerful innate healing mechanisms which are supported by maintaining a natural balance. By focusing on prevention and using scientifically and clinically proven natural substances and treatments, naturopathic doctors (NDs) can support and stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself. Naturopathic doctors are capable of treating any medical condition, and their medicinal techniques date back to the early 1900’s in North America and have been a part of Europe for centuries.
The primary goal of naturopathic treatment is to address the cause of illness, rather than to simply treat or suppress symptoms. Naturopathic doctors take physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions into account when diagnosing and developing a treatment plan. This holistic approach to treatment can be very effective, as each of these areas impacts human health.
From stress and anxiety to digestion and allergies, naturopathic medicine addresses all health-related conditions. By treating the cause of a condition as well as alleviating unwanted symptoms, naturopathic medicine successfully restores optimal health in people allowing them to sleep better, feel better and live a healthier life.
- anxiety and depression
- digestive disorders and food sensitivities
- headaches and migraines
- heart disease and high blood pressure
- hormone imbalance
- immune dysfunction
- insomnia and fatigue
- pain and injury
- skin conditions
- sports injuries
- stress management
- thyroid disorders
Is Naturopathic Medicine Safe?
The safety record for naturopathic medicine is excellent. This makes sense given the emphasis on non-toxic, natural source medicines and gentle, non-invasive treatments. Side effects are rare and NDs are knowledgeable about contraindications between naturopathic remedies and conventional medicines.
In addition, NDs are trained to recognize conditions which are outside their scope of practice and to refer to other health practitioners when it is appropriate to do so.
Is Naturopathic Medicine Scientific?
Thousands of modern clinical studies have validated a variety of natural medicines used by NDs: Echinacea for the immune system and St. John’s Wort for depression are just two examples. Naturopathic schools encourage and facilitate research and are continuously updating curricula to keep abreast of the latest effective natural treatment techniques.
It is important to note that, since most naturopathic remedies are not patentable, manufacturers find little financial incentive in costly scientific studies. Thus, funding from independent sources is essential for scientific validation of naturopathic treatments.