Many of us are familiar with traditional forms of medicine that are used in a hospital setting. But what if you’re looking for a more natural and holistic solution? If so, you may be interested in Naturopathy. This type of medicine is based on the belief that the body can heal itself; it uses natural remedies to promote the body’s innate healing abilities.
Holistic treatment is a core component of Naturopathy. It focuses on treating the entire body rather than isolated areas. This treatment aims to promote a cohesive wellness of the spirit, mind, and body.
Most of the time, traditional medicine aims to treat the symptoms of an illness. With Naturopathy, doctors look at the entire picture. They consider your lifestyle, habits, and relationships to determine which areas of your life need more support. The idea behind it is that when you’re treated with a holistic approach, it better enhances the healing abilities of your body. They might suggest dietary changes, counseling, and/or stress reduction techniques.
When you’re looking for a Naturopath provider, search for one that is accredited at a university. They should receive 4 years of graduate-level training at a recognized institution.
What conditions can Naturopathic doctors treat?
You don’t need to be seriously ill to seek Naturopathy—some use this treatment to improve their overall wellness. It can be also used as a method of preventative care; by strengthening the immune system, people have an easier time fighting off any illness.
Naturopaths can also help patients with specific conditions, like the following:
- Digestive issues. The initial meeting with a Naturopathic doctor often takes 1-2 hours. During this time, the patient is asked a series of questions about their exercise habits, eating routines, and general lifestyle choices. In traditional medicine, a healthcare provider may prescribe a medication to treat a patient’s nausea or indigestion. But with Naturopathy, the doctor aims to treat all areas of the patient’s life that may contribute to their stomach issues.
- Pain. Chronic pain is a widespread condition that afflicts millions of people around the world. The causes behind a patient’s pain are not always clear. A Naturopathic doctor will work closely with their patient to determine the sources of their pain and how to best treat them.
- Depression. Conditions of the mind are just as important as those of the body. Naturopaths seek to find ways to support those who suffer from depression and find areas of their lives that could benefit from more support.
What kinds of Naturopathy Treatment are used?
Naturopath doctors use natural remedies and medicines to help the body heal itself. A core principle of naturopathy is using treatments that do not harm the patient in any way or produce negative side effects.
Treatments make use of natural substances, botanicals, and vitamins to help boost the body’s innate healing process. Here are a few common treatments that naturopathic doctors use:
- Bee venom therapy: Apitherapy is used to reduce inflammation and pain. This treatment can help seniors with arthritis. It does so by increasing blood flow and boosting cortisol production. The melittin in bee venom injections may be what gives patients relief from their pain.
- Hydrotherapy: This treatment utilizes water to promote a patient’s health. It’s applied in a range of ways to offer pain relief, treatment for flus, and reducing headaches. Hot and cold compresses may be applied to targeted areas of the body for relief. A detoxification treatment involves a steam bath or soaking in a tub with specific minerals.
- IV treatments: When patients take supplements orally, not all of them are absorbed due to the first-pass effect, where the liver reduces the concentration of the vitamins and minerals. To bypass this and prevent malabsorption, naturopaths inject treatments directly into the bloodstream. Examples include vitamin C, B-12, and calcium.
One final concept to note: it is not recommended that you replace traditional medicine with naturopathy if you are suffering from a serious condition like cancer, diabetes, or other diseases. Instead, this treatment can be used in addition to conventional medicine. If you are dealing with unpleasant side effects (like nausea from chemotherapy), naturopathy can be used to help alleviate them.
But it should not be used to replace traditional treatments completely. Be sure to inform your primary healthcare provider that you are receiving naturopathic treatment so that all healing methods can be combined safely and effectively.
If you are interested in a form of treatment that seeks to reduce harmful side effects and promote holistic wellbeing, then naturopathic medicine may be right for you.