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Explore the Benefits of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is alternative medicine that focuses on treating patients holistically. Naturopathic doctors (ND) want to treat the root causes of diseases, not just the symptoms. And they believe that the body can heal itself with the help of natural remedies.

NDs follow the Therapeutic Order of Naturopathic Medicine. It’s a set of guidelines developed in 1997, and helps doctors treat patients in the least invasive way possible. These providers typically complete a 4-year program at one of the North American naturopathic medical schools accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education.

Naturopathic medicine doesn’t have to be a replacement for Western treatments. Often, people work with naturopathic doctors to complement conventional medical treatments. One example: a patient with breast cancer might see an oncologist for chemotherapy, and work with an ND to ease nausea from the treatments.

Common Conditions Naturopathic Physicians Treat

There are lots of illnesses you can see an ND for, including:

  • Allergies
  • Chronic pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Fertility issues
  • Headaches
  • Skin conditions like acne and rosacea

Don’t rely on a naturopathic doctor in the event of an emergency, like chest pain or broken bones. Or replace conventional medicine with natural healing for serious conditions like cancer.

Types of Treatments Naturopathic Doctors Offer

NDs tailor their natural treatments to the patients’ needs, taking into account physical and mental health. Some of the treatments you might find at your local naturopathic clinic include: 

  • Herbal medicine. For example, herbs like dong quai, and red clover may be used to promote hormonal balance.
  • Clinical nutrition. This is a key component of naturopathic medicine. Your naturopathic physician may recommend dietary changes like introducing more healthy fats or high-fibre foods into your meals. They might suggest vitamins or supplements as well.
  • Homeopathy. This type of medicine is based on the idea that "like cures like." A homeopathic practitioner uses very diluted remedies that produce symptoms similar to the illness they’re treating. Like suggesting Allium cepa if you have a runny nose. It’s made from red onion, which will probably cause cold-like symptoms.
  • Lifestyle counseling. A lot of symptoms can be the result of lifestyle factors. Whether it’s staying up too late or eating too much sugar, your ND can help you get on the right track.
  • Manipulative therapy. Your naturopathic doctor could recommend a chiropractic adjustment or guided stretching, for instance. 

There are many naturopathic treatments to explore—too many to list here! From acupuncture to massage therapy, NDs offer a multitude of treatments to their patients. 

To learn more, talk to a naturopathic doctor near you who treats your condition.

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