Naturopathy – Definition & History

Definition

Also commonly referred to as naturopathic medicine, naturopathy is a healing technique based solely on the curative influence of nature. In contrast to other forms of treatments, naturopathic medicine is a holistic system. As such, naturopaths or naturopathic physicians aim to unearth the actual cause of an ailment by comprehending the body, mind and soul of the patient. A majority of naturopathic medical doctors utilize a wide range of medications as well as methodologies, for example, nutrition, homeopathy, behavioral change, acupuncture and herbal medicine amongst others.

Naturopathy generally places a lot of emphasis on two areas. These are:

–          Sustaining the body’s therapeutic capabilities.

–          Encouraging patients to make positive lifestyle changes.

Whereas it is true that naturopaths cure both severe sicknesses and mild conditions, it is important to point out that their major focus is to educate patients and promote preventive treatment.

What to Expect from a Naturopath?

As is the case with a normal GP, you should try as much as possible to visit a naturopath on a regular basis. Visiting a naturopathic doctor is akin to consulting a family doctor. The first consultation normally takes more than one hour. During that time, the naturopath goes with you through your medical history, while at the same time enquiring more about your living and working conditions, stress factors, diet and lifestyle. Once the ND is through with your medical history, he/she will conduct a physical examination, which entails lab tests. Besides the traditional examinations, the naturopathic doctor may also apply unique lab methods, for example, CDSA (Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis). This particular examination enables NDs to evaluate your digestive system in addition to determining how well the body absorbs the nutrients.

A naturopath normally aims to cure the whole patient. What this means is that, a naturopathy doctor takes into consideration different elements prior to diagnosing a condition. A naturopath may assess your spiritual, emotional and psychic state; your surroundings; your lifestyle; your diet prior to making any kind of diagnosis.

Listed below, are just but a few of typical medications applied by naturopathic doctors:

–          Acupuncture.

–          Nutritional counseling.

–          Detoxification.

–          Physical medicine.

–          Herbal medicine.

–          Hydrotherapy.

–          Homeopathic medicine.

–          Spirituality.

–          Lifestyle counseling.

Naturopathic doctors usually regard patients referred to them as partakers within their wellness program. Consequently, when you visit a naturopath, you may be requested to start making lifestyle changes, for example, the way you eat, the number of hours you sleep and the number of time you exercise in the week.

What Types of Ailments and Conditions React Properly to Naturopathy?

Since naturopaths merge different types of medications, it is hard to point out actual ailments which react properly to naturopathy. NDs cure not only severe sicknesses like asthma, hepatitis, cardiac ailments and HIV and mild conditions like sore throat, digestive issues and arthritis. As pointed out earlier, naturopathic doctors cure the entire patient instead of focusing on the signs and symptoms. This in turn enables patients to play a crucial role in their treatment process since they will be required to make certain changes to their lifestyle. For instance, diabetics will be encouraged to take into account what they eat and how much they exercise on a weekly basis.

Finding a Qualified Naturopath

Prior to visiting a naturopath, you need to make sure that he/she is licensed. As at the end of 2009, there were a total of 15 states in the US, for example, Alaska, Utah, Idaho, Vermont, Minnesota and Washington that had license requirements for naturopathic doctors. To find a naturopath in your area, simply log into www.naturopathic.org and find out which NDs in your area are licensed.

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