Health Tips for Today - Naturopathic Medicine

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The practice of naturopathic medicine is based on the understanding of the body’s ability to heal itself. Health Tips for Today - Naturopathic Medicine. When people experience signs and symptoms of illness, these symptoms serve as an indicator that there is an imbalance or a problem.  Ignoring these symptoms doesn’t make the problem go away; often times the signs and symptoms worsen until one has to pay attention and gain medical help.  In some cases, people experience symptoms of a problem but the cause is undetermined or it is overlooked.  However, the body is wise, using signs and symptoms to let you know that there is an imbalance.  This imbalance could be cumulative or based upon lack or excess of nutritional factors, daily habits, infection or environmental issues.  Instead of ignoring or suppressing symptoms or signs of a problem, naturopathic medicine looks to support the body to deal with these assaults in a more comfortable and efficient way – in other words, working with the body, not against it.  The goal is to find the cause of the imbalance and use the symptoms to guide and lead one to finding the cause of disease.

About Naturopathic Doctors
Health Tips for Today - Naturopathic Medicine
A naturopathic doctor (ND) is an expert in natural medicine. NDs blend natural, non-toxic therapies with current advancements in the study of health and human systems, covering all aspects of family health from prenatal to geriatric care. They are committed to bringing cutting edge medical knowledge and tools to the resolution of their clients’ health issues and to maintain the agility necessary to create health solutions that can be uniquely tailored to each individual client. NDs partner with their clients and take the time to listen to their needs so that they feel part of the health care solution. NDs provide clients with the time, space and answers they need to feel cared for and supported.

In all cases, Naturopathic Doctors seek to uncover any underlying causes of an individuals health concerns, in an effort to prevent illness rather than simply treat symptoms.  Various factors, such as environmental irritants or food sensitivities, are considered in working toward a goal of holistic and comprehensive treatment. Naturopathic Doctors collaborate with all branches of medicine referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate. NDs are pledged to fostering individual and community health through the application of naturopathic principles.

The History of Naturopathic Medicine
Health Tips for Today - Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic Medicine has been a distinct American healthcare profession for over 200 years. Health Tips for Today - Naturopathic Medicine. In the late 1800’s, practitioners from several medical disciplines combined to form the first naturopathic professional societies. By the early 20th century, more than 20 naturopathic medical colleges had been founded in the U.S. and NDs were licensed in a majority of states. By the 1920s, various naturopathic medical conferences attracted more than 10,000 practitioners.

Naturopathic medicine experienced a decline in the mid-20th century with the rise of technological medicine, pharmaceutical drugs and the quick-fix idea that drugs and surgery could eliminate all diseases. Over the last 3 decades, a health conscious public has increasingly sought healing through natural medicine.  Naturopathic medicine has served in this capacity where it not only has been useful but also cost-effective.

Do you have more questions about Naturopathic Medicine? Then check out our Frequently Asked Questions on Naturopathic Medicine.

Naturopathic medicine adheres to the following principles:

Doctor as teacher
Naturopathic Doctors believe in empowering patients, and the best way to do this is through education.  It is important to understand why a therapy is given, how it works, and how the body works.  Naturopathic doctors spend the necessary time making sure each person understands why there could be an imbalance or problem, as well as discussing ways to remedy the situation.  It is important for patients to have ample time to ask questions and also receive feedback.  Questions are always welcome!  Naturopathic doctors also teach individuals how to care for themselves, which is essential for long-term wellness.

Do no harm
Health Tips for Today - Naturopathic Medicine
Just like other doctors, naturopathic doctors take the Hippocratic oath, which states not to do harm.  Health Tips for Today - Naturopathic Medicine. Thus naturopathic doctors often start with using the least invasive forms of medicine to help others.  Commonly recommended treatments including herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutritional support and lifestyle modification are all quite safe; side effects of naturopathic therapies are typically few to none.  When an evaluation or treatment,  is needed that is out of the scope for a naturopathic doctor or is beyond their ability to assist a patient (much more common in an unlicensed state, such as Virginia), appropriate referrals will always be made to provide the best care for each person.

Identify and treat the cause
Rather than focusing on making symptoms go away or covering them up, a Naturopathic Doctor looks for the core cause(s) of the illness.  Often times when symptoms present, many practitioners will recommend giving a drug, causing symptoms to go away.  This is useful in some cases, but sometimes when the medication is removed the symptoms then return.  Even though the drug may have provided some enhanced quality of life, it has not changed or healed the person.  The imbalance still exists.  Addressing the real reason for your symptoms results in not only symptom relief but long term improved health.

Let nature heal
Health Tips for Today - Naturopathic Medicine
The body has an innate wisdom and desire to heal itself. Health Tips for Today - Naturopathic Medicine. The naturopathic doctor’s objective is to help identify and remove any barriers or obstacles which may be preventing a person from getting well. These obstacles may take the shape of external stressors, specific foods, or unhealthy lifestyle habits. Once these barriers are removed and the body is given what it needs, healing is able to take place.

Prevent illness and preserve health
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Investing in your health now will save you from paying for it later.  In the realm of naturopathic medicine, we not only take into account your health in the past and present – we also consider what it will be in the future.  Looking at each person’s health history, risk factors, and susceptibility to disease, appropriate steps can be taken to prevent health issues in the future.  Life-long wellness is always the long term goal.

Treat the whole person
Each one of us is unique and complex. Health Tips for Today - Naturopathic Medicine. We are not simply a sum of body parts or a list of diagnoses. What’s going on in one part of the body is affecting another, which is affecting your thoughts, your mood, and everything else.  Health encompasses our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  Naturopathic Doctors acknowledge all of these components and complexities with each and every client.

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