What is Naturopathy and how can it help me?
These days, the topic of health and wellness is on many minds; with recent changes to COVID restrictions, the desire to preserve our health becomes a priority.
Seeking alternative methods of healing: What is naturopathy?
Naturopathic care is health care that places emphasis on non-traditional methods of treatment—acupuncture, nutritional counseling, essential oil and massage therapies, and herbal medicine—to treat and reduce symptoms of common ailments.
The concept of naturopathic care was introduced to the United States from Germany in the late 1800s, yet some of its alternative practices have their centuries-old roots in countries all over the world. Naturopathic practitioners today combine the best of these traditional treatments with modern medical innovations to provide some truly unique and innovative care.
How does naturopathic care work?
The goal of any naturopathic protocol is to treat the whole body—mind, body, and spirit, in an attempt to get to the root cause of an illness. While traditional forms of medicine seek to manage symptoms, a naturopathic doctor is going to look for the underlying cause of a disease or condition and seek to eliminate it.
Seeing a naturopathic doctor
Your first visit to a naturopathic practitioner may take a couple of hours. You’ll likely be asked questions about health history, family history, daily habits, stress levels, and lists of medicines you may be taking. Lab tests may be ordered to provide a comprehensive look into what is happening internally.
Once issues have been uncovered, you’ll be creating a health plan along with your practitioner that focuses on education, prevention, and alternative protocols. A typical health plan protocol from a naturopathic specialist may include:
- Diet and exercise plans
- Stress management strategies
- Herbal supplements
- Chiropractic treatments
- Massage or Reiki
Following the advice of your naturopath will lead to better balance, less stress, and better health. More and more people are turning to naturopathic care as a means of healing the whole body.
Who practices naturopathic care?
You might be surprised—it is not as difficult to find the best naturopath for your specific health conditions right in your own backyard. More and more medical practitioners are supporting the use of naturopathic care in hospitals, clinics, community health, and private offices than ever before. Typically, there are three types of practitioners that you’ll come across when looking for care:
1. Naturopathic physicians
A naturopathic physician attends an accredited, four-year school. They are required to take many of the same courses as those who enter conventional medicine programs, but they add courses such as nutritional counseling, psychology, and complementary therapies to their list of certifications. In some states, it is required for a naturopath to be licensed in their areas of specialization and to take continuing education classes.
2. Traditional naturopaths
A traditional naturopath may not have received a degree from an accredited school, and their areas of specialization and expertise vary widely. Do your homework and ask about training and education with respect to your medical conditions when seeking care from a traditional naturopath.
3. Healthcare providers
Some medical doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and nurse practitioners have additional certification and training in naturopathy. They will be able to provide valuable advice and counseling on alternative therapies that may work in tandem with conventional services that they are providing. Choosing the right kind of naturopathic care will be an essential part of achieving the kind of optimal health you desire.
How can a naturopathic experience help me?
Naturopathic practitioners have a wonderful way of involving you, the patient, in nearly all aspects of your care and designing your individualized health plan. Patients of naturopathy note that they feel as if they have more voice and choice in the types of treatments that they receive, and they are able to provide feedback and change treatment plans that are no longer effective. Over time, there is a trusting relationship built between a naturopathic doctor and a patient, allowing for some innovative treatments and healing processes to develop that might not be possible with conventional care. Here are some other ways that naturopathic treatments may be of benefit to you:
1. They provide treatment of all types of disorders
Many ailments addressed by traditional medicine can be treated on another level with naturopathic medicine. Although traditional medicine has some tried and proven methods of symptom and disease management, naturopathy takes healing to a deeper level, often addressing and eradicating underlying causes of disease and pain.
2. Naturopathic treatments can improve sleep!
Rest easy! If you are experiencing sleep disorders and other ailments due to pain, your naturopathic doctor can prescribe or suggest herbal remedies and nutritional regimens that make restful, restorative sleep easy. Sleep is a healthy part of a wellness regimen–the better you feel, the more likely you’ll be able to continue a healthy cycle of sleep/waking patterns.
3. They may aid in the prevention of disease
One of the most effective ways to safeguard your health is to put practices in place that prevent disease…..before it develops. One of the strengths of naturopathic treatment is an emphasis on creating healthy lifestyle habits that encourage healthy cell renewal and repair, as well as natural detoxification processes that assist the body in ridding itself of toxins and bacteria that can lead to disease.
4. They emphasize “whole body” health
Yet another strength of naturopathic care is that it addresses mind, body, and spirit health. These three elements of health are inextricably connected, and the health of one affects each of the others in significant ways. Bringing all of these elements into balance is the best way to achieve optimal health and wellness that can last a lifetime.
Finding a naturopath near me: Where to start?
Your medical practitioner may have a number of resources that can get you started on the path to finding a naturopathic practitioner that you can work with. Ask doctors, dentists, and chiropractors for referrals and resources that you can look into as you begin your search for a naturopath near you. Of course the easiest way is to start your search below.
Get excited! You are about to embark on a journey that will take you wonderful places; through this comprehensive approach to self care, you’ll likely learn much about yourself as you prioritize your health. Embrace your findings, commit to wellness, and see how much your health and vitality will improve!