What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic doctors attend a 4 year, graduate level naturopathic medical school. In addition to learning the basic sciences taught in conventional medical schools, naturopathic doctors study holistic and nontoxic approaches with an emphasis on prevention and optimizing health. Nutrition, botanical medicine, and counseling are strongly emphasized. Naturopathic doctors take rigorous board exams in order to be able to be licensed by a state as a primary care physician.
Naturopathic medicine recognizes that the body is inherently wise and has the remarkable ability to heal itself when given what it needs to be healthy. Sometimes this means making changes to the diet or lifestyle, correcting nutritional deficiencies, decreasing the toxic burden in the body, improving sleep, or reducing stress. Naturopathic doctors aim to discover the root cause of health problems as well as emphasize prevention. They also believe in the healing power of nature. Some of the common therapies that a naturopathic doctor may use include:
- Healing foods
- Lifestyle changes
- Physical medicine
- Craniosacral therapy
- Visceral manipulation
- Naturopathic manipulation
- This is a very gentle and safe but powerful form of medicine that operates on the philosophy that like cures like.
- Flower essences
- A form of homeopathy that uses flowers. Great for mental/emotional issues
- Nutritional supplementation
- This helps to correct nutrient deficiencies.
- Herbal medicine
- This can be in the form of teas, tinctures, syrups, infused oils, powdered herbs mixed into food or pressed into capsules, or eaten as food.
- Depending on the state you live in, naturopathic doctors may prescribe pharmaceuticals if absolutely necessary. In most cases, pharmaceuticals are used in conjunction with other naturopathic therapies to help the body heal itself and address the root cause of an illness.