If you have heard of naturopathy but don’t know much about it, you might be wondering if it is something you will ever need. Naturopathy is a different type of healthcare to traditional medicine. It uses a combination of scientific knowledge with natural therapies and medicines. The idea behind it is that the body can heal itself with appropriate natural treatments.
What Do Naturopaths Do?
Those who practice naturopathy are known as naturopathic doctors. According to the folk at KIYA Longevity, their work is to get to the root of a person’s illness or problem rather than just trying to treat the symptoms caused by it.
Instead of prescribing medication to treat symptoms, a naturopathic doctor will have a full consultation with a patient to find out more about their lifestyle. They will discuss diet, exercise, family history of illness, etc. to establish what might be going on to cause the symptoms the individual is having. They will then look at the best type of therapy or remedy to help address the underlying cause.
There are six principles followed by those practicing naturopathy:
- The Healing Power of Nature
- Identify and Treat the Causes
- First Do No Harm
- Doctor as Teacher
- Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic doctors adhere to these principles, understanding that illness does not happen without a cause and that living systems naturally maintain and restore their health. They believe that their role is therefore to support the natural healing power of nature. They will use the least harmful methods to support patients and avoid suppressing symptoms to prevent any interruption to the healing process.
Naturopathic doctors believe in educating patients about their health and the ways in which they can maintain it. They also believe that a whole person-centered approach is best when it comes to healing. Another strong belief is that prevention is better than cure. A big part of their work involves working with patients to identify risk factors for a variety of illnesses and diseases and helping them to implement strategies to avoid their development.
Can a Naturopath Diagnose Diseases?
As naturopathic doctors believe that getting to the root of a person’s problem is the best way to treat them, they tend to be very skilled when it comes to diagnosing illness.
They will spend quite a bit of time consulting with their patients to find out as much as they can about what they eat, how much they exercise, what their sleep patterns are like, and what their emotional and mental health is like. They will then use this information alongside any symptoms a person is having and work on determining the cause before recommending any treatments.
When they do establish the cause, they will work on using a variety of therapies to help support natural healing. Naturopathic doctors may also use minimally invasive diagnostic tools such as x-rays or laboratory tests when necessary.
What Treatments Do Naturopaths Provide
For the most part, a naturopathic doctor will use the least invasive methods of treatment to help encourage an individual’s natural healing response. This could be a combination of diet changes, lifestyle changes, meditation, counselling, homeopathic treatments, and hydrotherapy. The naturopath will work on a program that they believe will best help the individual patient.
These doctors will typically treat chronic or acute illness or diseases such as digestive disorders, chronic pain, fertility problems, mental health conditions, insomnia, and endocrine conditions.
If you are looking for an alternative to traditional medicine or simply want to try something more natural alongside your current treatment plan, then a naturopathic doctor can help.