Patients of a naturopathic practitioner seek to find healing at the root of a problem, not merely deal with symptoms as they arise. The practitioner’s goal is to offer gentle, whole-body treatment which begins with the body’s own ability to heal itself.
Naturopathy in a Nutshell
What is naturopathy? This is a form of treatment for acute and chronic conditions which comes from nature but also sometimes incorporates Western medicine. Whereas homeopathy and Chinese herbalism eschew Western pharmaceuticals, your naturopath might prescribe a combination of both.
This alternative medical professional considers the body as a physical and psychological entity while also taking environmental and social elements of a person’s life into consideration. Some of these factors are adaptable and others are not.
The Road to Recovery
A body will suffer from pain, inflammation, infection, and other complications following injury, as a result of illness, and very often because of lifestyle choices.
For example, a person suffering from inflammation might also be eating a food which he is intolerant of but does not realize this is the problem. He might also be lacking exercise: limited movement exacerbates the issue.
A naturopath can supply products to combat inflammation but will also help to determine which foods are causing trouble based on symptoms and the person’s diet. He will recommend suitable chiropractic treatment, perhaps massage, and exercises which can be incorporated into a natural daily routine. The naturopath is a problem solver using the whole person to provide a disease profile.
An Initial Visit
There should not be a fee for asking a few questions about naturopathy and services over the telephone, but a first consultation is different. This is an in-depth checkup.
Unlike your doctor, this professional is going to spend a long time just talking to you about how you live, your background, the job you do, and more. If you suffer from or have suffered from conditions in the past, these could contribute to your current situation. So could genetics or environment.
A doctor just does not have time for this kind of consultation; then again, you could be paying the full cost of a visit to your naturopath depending on benefits through your employer or medical insurance. They might help you cover the costs, so ask the question.
You will go through some testing which could involve taking blood, scans and x-rays. Naturopathic practitioners happily recommend services of hospitals and Western doctors if they feel a patient’s condition is serious and should be checked over by a general practitioner.
The Makeup of Natural Medicine
Where does the medicine come from? A naturopath utilizes assorted remedies, some of which are not ingested but experiential. While botanical remedies are helpful in some situations, these are combined with homeopathy, chiropractic techniques, hydrotherapy, nutrition, and more. Chinese medicine is sometimes utilized as well as over-the-counter and prescribed drugs.
During hydrotherapy, water is used in various ways (patients drink it and spend time in hot and cold baths) in order to promote an immune response. Naturopathic detoxification is sought after by individuals recovering from addiction to drugs, alcohol, and smoking. Fasting and enemas are part of this intense program.
Licensing and Accreditation
Naturopathic doctors are not recognized in every state, at least as far as regulations and licensing are concerned. Only 17 states in the US currently license naturopaths and only if these are trained, certified individuals with degrees from accredited institutions. Therefore, it’s difficult to find a certified and reliable individual anywhere outside of those states in the US.
This isn’t necessarily a reflection on the individual practicing naturopathy, but it does make choosing a professional service more difficult. Consumers who choose this path might wish to visit a neighboring state where the discipline is accepted and licensed so it is easier to vet potential service providers.
Healing for What?
What conditions could a patient find treatment for from a naturopathic physician? There are many conditions for which this direction is both gentle and effective, including treatment of allergies, asthma, weight loss, dry skin, and headaches.
Some clients claim they have been cured of serious mental health disorders and cancer, but it is safest to approach these claims with caution. Always seek medical help if you suspect you are suffering from a life-threatening illness or severe mental health condition.