What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathic medicine is rooted in the belief that the body has an innate ability to heal. Naturopathic Doctors (aka NDs) take a holistic approach to the body and aim to uncover the cause, not just address the symptoms. Prevention and patient education are mainstays of naturopathic medicine as well. Naturopaths abide by the following 6 Principles:
With these principles in mind, Naturopaths take a comprehensive approach considering the whole person: emotional/mental, physical and spiritual. While two patients might have the same condition, the cause of their condition likely differs. By taking a holistic approach, the Naturopathic Doctor is uniquely qualified to help their patients achieve optimal wellness.
To determine the cause of disease, naturopaths must figure out the factors disturbing normal functions within the body. Symptoms are the body’s reactions to such disturbances.
ND’s address the underlying disturbance (the cause) by utilizing the therapeutic order as a guide. ND’s first assess the determinants of health, things like adequate and clean water, air quality, sleep, and nutrition before moving on to the next therapy level which involves a step up in level of invasiveness.
For example, if someone has difficulty falling asleep at night, prescribing Ambien is one of the last things an ND would consider. A first step might entail avoiding monitors leading up to bedtime. This is because blue light emitted from screens has been shown to disrupt sleep patterns. Blue light signals to the pineal gland, which sits right behind our eyes, that it’s still daytime and thus suppresses melatonin production (the hormone that induces sleep). In this case, the ND could have prescribed a sedating herbal remedy or melatonin itself, but removing exposure to blue light is less invasive and also treats the cause!
People like seeing naturopaths for a number of reasons.
They enjoy extensive time with a doctor who knows them.
They appreciate having many therapeutic options to choose from.
The ND’s therapeutic toolbox is extensive and includes but is not limited to: herbal medicine, diet, nutritional supplementation, massage, osteopathic manipulations, hydrotherapy, homeopathy and counseling.