What Is Naturopathic Medicine?
The organs and systems that constitute your body are interdependent – if one system isn’t functioning normally, very often dysfunction soon manifests elsewhere as well. Naturopathic medicine sees the whole picture of your body, not just individual organs or systems. A naturopath treats conditions with an emphasis on interrelation, integration and a holistic view of good health.
Everything that you eat, drink, do and think can influence your overall state of well-being. Instead of focusing exclusively on an upset stomach or a headache, a naturopathic medical approach seeks to understand the underlying causes of these symptoms and to restore overall health. When the root cause of symptoms is uncovered, the individual symptoms are often resolved when treated with a sensible combination of dietary adjustment, lifestyle management and natural medicines.
As a form of evidence-based practice, naturopathy often works in conjunction with conventional medical care. Doctors didn’t know that scurvy, a disease that plagued sailors on long voyages, arose from a severe vitamin C deficiency until the vitamin was isolated in the 1930s. However, ancient records of Phoenician and Roman physicians detailed the importance of eating certain foods or drinking decoctions of herbs rich in vitamin C. Naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine have historically overlapped in such a fashion many times.
Education is fundamental to the naturopathic process. Under naturopathic care, you become actively involved in your own wellness. Your naturopath relies on the feedback you supply regarding your health, so becoming conversant in the symptoms you experience and understanding how they relate to other systems in your body is an important aspect of your care. In turn, your naturopath will supply you with an in-depth education on how your diet, lifestyle and health regimen affect your wellness.
Who Needs Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic practice starts with the view that the natural state of the human body is one of vigour and health. Any condition that diminishes that state of glowing good health is a potential reason to visit a naturopath. Because it looks at the whole person and not just a constellation of isolated symptoms, naturopathy may help a number of chronic conditions. If you suffer with allergies, naturopathic care can give you greater control over them. Many ongoing conditions such as gastrointestinal complaints, fibromyalgia, food sensitivities and depression respond well to holistic treatment from a naturopathic practitioner.
Only after an appointment can a naturopath accurately assess your overall health and offer the care that will benefit you most. Because it involves the interplay of so many factors that influence your health, naturopathic medicine does not lend itself to a quick, band-aid type fix.