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What is a Naturopathic Doctor? Understanding Healthcare’s Holistic Healers

Picture this: You have a medical symptom and go to your doctor. They prescribe medication, and your symptom improves, but then another appears. You go back to the doctor, and they prescribe more medicine, only for that to cause another side effect. The cycle feels never-ending and frustrating, especially because if you stop taking the prescribed medicine, the original symptom comes back since your doctor never truly remedied it.

This is a common phenomenon in the medical field, and one that naturopathic doctors avoid through their approach to wellness.

Naturopathic doctors are like detectives, trying to find what imbalance or weakness in your body is causing other symptoms to develop. Once they do, they help you address it by changing your lifestyle for the better and giving your body the capacity to heal on its own.

Naturopathic doctors often serve as a breath of fresh air for those who have not been able to find relief with society’s standard approach to medicine; let’s explore what it is about naturopathic doctors that allows for this.

Key Findings:

  • Naturopathic doctors blend modern scientific knowledge with traditional medicine to find the root cause of a problem.
  • Naturopathic doctors can diagnose, treat, and prevent illness and disease.
  • A naturopathic doctor’s philosophy of care includes helping the body heal itself, individualizing treatment, and strengthening weakened systems.

What are Naturopathic Doctors?

Naturopathic doctors are healthcare professionals who merge modern scientific knowledge with traditional medicine. Their priority is determining the root cause of illness, which is the imbalance causing all the other symptoms and concerns. Once they know the root cause, they deliver holistic care, emphasizing how the patient’s lifestyle can manage the condition.

Naturopathic doctors do more than look at your health history and current medical concerns; they consider your physical, emotional, mental, and environmental health because they understand that every facet of your life and everything you interact with during the day can influence your health and wellness.

If there’s one thing that naturopathic doctors are known for, it’s their comprehensive approach to healthcare. They consider how everything in your life affects your wellness and know the power small lifestyle changes have in improving your health. When they create a treatment plan, it isn’t just a prescription; it’s often a complete life alteration that will help address your areas of concern and foster optimal health.

Education Requirements Of Naturopathic Doctors

Like an M.D., a naturopathic doctor (ND) must complete rigorous academic and clinical preparation. After completing a bachelor’s degree with a focus on medical coursework, they enroll in a four-year accredited naturopathic medical school. Graduates must pass the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX), a comprehensive board examination, to receive their license to practice.

Some naturopathic doctors may choose to specialize, and some of the areas which naturopathic doctors may focus on include:

  • Herbal medicine
  • Nutrition
  • Physical medicine (e.g., hydrotherapy, massage)
  • Acupuncture
  • Homeopathy
  • Lifestyle counseling

The Naturopathic Philosophy of Care

While naturopathic practitioners may practice wellness through different modalities, they all share these same philosophies of care.

The Body Wants to Heal

Naturopathic medicine is formed on the foundation that the body can heal itself through innate abilities.

Your body has a system in place to protect itself and maintain equilibrium. Medical concerns can arise when this balance is upset, but your body can reconfigure itself if given the right tools.

Naturopathic medicine seeks to aid your body’s healing abilities, not replace them. By identifying and eliminating obstacles to health, naturopathic doctors make it so your body can restore its equilibrium naturally, and often without medication that only causes additional imbalances.

Get to the Root

Naturopathic doctors are not interested in only treating your symptoms because they know that this does not truly solve the problem. Instead, naturopathic doctors dig until they find the root cause of your symptoms.

In many cases, one imbalance can cause multiple seemingly unrelated symptoms. By correcting the imbalance, the body begins to function correctly again, and the symptoms dissipate on their own.

Treatment Should be Individualized

No two people are the same, and naturopathic doctors believe that, along this same line, no two treatments should be the same. They don’t follow a cookie-cutter treatment plan where each symptom has a predetermined and generic treatment. Instead, they dig deep to find why these symptoms appear in you.

Once they know the root cause of your symptoms, they craft a treatment plan that considers your preferences and current lifestyle. At a naturopathic doctor, you won’t only be given a suggestion; you will be given the tools and steps needed to integrate the lifestyle change into your life in a way that will stick.

Furthermore, a naturopathic doctor’s treatment plan doesn’t address just physical symptoms; it improves your mental health and overall well-being to resolve current concerns and prevent future issues from arising.

Strengthen Weakened Systems

Once a naturopathic doctor gets to the root of your problem, they strengthen the weakened system through lifestyle interventions, botanical medicine, dietary modifications, homeopathy, and orthomolecular therapy.

They don’t want to replace your body’s functionality; they only want to support what is already in place.

The Role of Naturopathic Doctors in Healthcare

There are many different roles a naturopathic doctor can take. They may be your primary care provider, or they may offer complementary care.

Unlike other healthcare professionals, the ultimate goal of naturopathic doctors is to prevent, not treat. While they diagnose and treat health conditions, their primary focus is to prevent illness and disease by returning balance to the body and making it so that sickness and disease do not set in. This makes them powerful allies for managing chronic conditions—a naturopathic doctor can help you learn to make specific modifications to your lifestyle that best manage your chronic condition, avoiding complications.

With their unique approach to medicine, naturopathic doctors may also offer a solution when other healthcare practitioners are stumped, including if someone is having fertility issues, hormonal imbalances, or chronic fatigue.

Naturopathic Doctors: The Merging of Modern Knowledge and Holistic Healing

Naturopathic doctors transcend medicine as we know it. They take the standard medical practice where one symptom gets one treatment and revamp it, advocating for your health as they find the root cause of your issues and give you the tools you need to forge a healthier lifestyle.

Naturopathic doctors are also teachers, offering you the information you need to care for yourself. They incorporate all facets of your being into their care, including physical, emotional, mental, environmental, and genetic factors. Their primary goal is to prevent illness and disease, allowing you to live a healthier life.

To experience the unique and individualized form of care offered by naturopathic doctors for yourself, schedule a naturopathic consultation, and let’s get started on preserving your health.