A naturopath doctor
seeks the benefit of the body's natural healing powers while working
with the patient to obtain and maintain genuine and lasting wellness.
A quick way to answer the question: What is a naturopath? Just break the compound of the word. The prefix “naturo-” means natural and the suffix “-path,” disease. Hence, the term “naturopath” roughly means, “a natural way to cure disease.”
According to Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary, a formal definition of a naturopath is, “A system of treatment of disease that avoids drugs and surgery and emphasizes the use of natural agents (as air, water, and sunshine) and physical means (as manipulation and electrical treatment).”
1. Healing Power of Nature: The body can heal itself when given the appropriate means.
2. Identify and Treat the Cause: Look beyond the symptoms to deal with what is causing the illness.
3. Do No Harm:
Utilize the most natural and least invasive therapy first. Although
ND’s can prescribe drugs, they often offer homeopathic or herbals
remedies just as effective, but tolerated far better.
4. The Doctor is a Teacher: The ND will educate their patients on their responsibility to care for their own health and to take an active role in preventing disease.
5. Treat the Whole Person: The ND realizes that total health is not only physical, but also involves mental, emotional, social and spiritual factors.
6. Prevention: Disease prevention is the best medicine and the ND will focus on preventive measures to promotion optimal health
Some of these are:
• Homeopathic and herbal medicine
• Nutrition and diet education
• Extensive knowledge of vitamins, minerals, herbs and other nutraceuticals
• Physical interventions such as massage, Bowen therapy and hydrotherapy
A major benefit of a ND is that he or she expects you to take responsibility for your own healing and wellness. They will teach you and give you the tools, but it is up to you to do what they suggest. They will educate you, but you are responsible to take the necessary preventive measures. They will give you the tools to help your body heal itself in a way that drugs cannot. When the patient is educated and cooperative, great strides can be taken to avoid even those diseases of genetic predisposition.
Actively being involved in your own wellness, not only physically, but also mentally, socially, emotionally and spiritually to prevent future problems, is a far greater benefit than to simply take a pharmaceutical drug to alleviate symptoms of a far more serious and perhaps irreversible disease.
This is the goal of the ND.
- A family doctor- A second, perhaps natural, opinion for acute or chronic conditions- A preventive, holistic approach to preserve and maintain your wellness- An integrated approach with your current conventional doctor
ND’s can benefit those individual at any age and in all type of diseases who prefer a natural approach to health care and will take the responsibility of “following doctor’s orders” so to practice preventive medicine.
As with any physician or health
practitioner, if you are not satisfied, no matter what his or her title
may be, do yourself a favor and shop around. Your health is a precious
and valuable gift, but you must make the final decision as to who you
will trust to give you the medical advice you need.