[Read time: about 2 minutes]
Imagine this… You have a bad cold again for the fourth time this year and you're missing too much work. You’re lying in bed, nose raw and chest tight dreading the next breath you take.
Laundry, kids, dinner, and the other luxuries of life are waiting for you to crawl out of bed and take care of them. But all you can do is lay there and hope that your symptoms disappear fast.
Now imagine this alternative… waking up feeling refreshed daily with abundant energy and a clear mind. You crush work and get the kids fed and laundry folded with no problem.
Your body feels great, and you don’t suffer from nasty colds as much as you used to.
What’s the difference?
What exactly is naturopathy?
One of the most misunderstood professions today is Naturopathic Medicine. The fear of pseudoscience and sham practices belittle the reality of the truly beneficial form of healthcare naturopaths practice.
Naturopathy is a form of primary healthcare that emphasizes prevention and self-healing by utilizing natural therapies.
Naturopaths aim to consider and treat the whole body for disease and health by addressing the root cause of issues instead of bandaging symptoms and piling on the medications.
Back to our cold example...
The difference is the first situation is a defensive approach treating the symptoms of the colds once they occur.
The second stems from a naturopathic approach to health by creating a healthy lifestyle that prevents sickness in the first place.
Naturopathy is based on six key medical principles.
The 6 tenets of naturopathic medicine
Naturopaths operate based on 6 basic principles:
- Do no harm.
- Identify and treat the causes.
- Treat the whole person.
- The healing power of nature.
- The physician as teacher.
- Prevent illness instead of treating it.
Those all sound pretty good. What else is there?
How are naturopaths different than conventional medicine?
Conventional medicine is excellent for emergency care and mitigating short term issues.
However, the body needs different protocols to be truly healthy, long-term. This is where Naturopathy shines.
Instead of treating symptoms of disease with temporary band-aids and a plethora of drugs, Naturopathy aims to find the root causes and eliminate them through natural methods.
It’s the difference between cutting a weed on the surface versus digging deep and pulling out the weed’s roots. One takes care of the obvious, visible weed and the other takes care of the weed for good.
What kinds of treatment modalities do naturopaths use?
Naturopathic treatment modalities include?
- Physical manipulation
- Botanical medicine
- Clinical nutrition
- Psychology and spirituality
- Minor procedures (as needed)
Just to name a few. But how do they get this training?
What kind of education and training do naturopaths undergo?
Naturopathic Doctors (N.D.s) are primary care physicians that undergo a rigorous 4-year training protocol similar to conventional doctors... but with more focus on natural healing.
They study the same biomedical sciences, spend at least two years in clinical settings, and must pass professional board exams to practice medicine. Residencies aren't required for naturopaths but are available for further training.
The areas of homeopathic, botanical, and physical medicine, clinical nutrition, psychology, and counseling are examples of education and training naturopaths receive that most medical doctors don’t.
A naturopath's comprehensive training makes them invaluable to your lasting health. Imagine feeling healthier and more vibrant because your health is based on a holistic and natural approach.
Do you have reoccurring health issues or a cabinet full of medication you’d like to minimize? A naturopathic approach to health may be the answer for you in your long-term journey to lasting health.
Listen to this week’s podcast with me and naturopathic physician McKenzie Taylor.