The advancements in the fields of science and technology have brought human beings to a point where half of our consumptions are artificial. Concentrating on the medical field, most of the medical practices are developed together with technology and uses medicine that include many chemicals and artificial ingredients. It is in this scenario that Naturopathic Medicine comes to the attention. Naturopathy has its roots in the time as early as the 1800’s but its existence is more accepted and appreciated in the modern times. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians has defined Naturopathic medicine as “a distinct system of primary health care- an art, science, philosophy and practice of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illness.”
To elaborate, Naturopathy treatment is a combination of both traditional medical forms and modern scientific knowledge. Considering the traditional medical forms, these are much interconnected with nature. Naturopathy mostly uses natural remedies such as herbs, nutrition counseling, hydrotherapy, massage, acupuncture and exercise. And a naturopath process has its core belief on the fact that the body of a person has its own healing power. By providing the necessary support to enhance that inner capacity, Naturopathic medicine facilitate a patient to face an illness and most importantly, to prevent potential health issues. Prevention of future health problems is one of the major concentrations of Naturopathy. When a patient visits a Naturopathic doctor, the naturopathic doctor attempts to treat the core reason that causes the illness rather than only treating the symptoms. This enhances the chances of preventing future health issues.
Another important factor about Naturopathy is how it looks at a patient as a whole. Not only is the physical aspect looked at but also psychological and spiritual aspects of a person. When a patient visits a Naturopathic clinic, the Naturopathic doctor spends an amount of time, even 1 to 2 hours with the patient, questioning and listening to him or her. This is because Naturopathy believes that the uniqueness of an individual should be given much importance. It is believed by Naturopathic doctors that once the individual who is to be treated is understood through his or her health history and physical, mental spiritual characteristics based on the conversation and the check-ups done at the clinic, it is easier to determine the treatment that should be prepared and delivered to that patient. Thus a Naturopathy treatment is custom-made to the situation of different patient.
Approving the factors mentioned previously in the article, there are six laws to which all Naturopathic practitioners across the world commonly abide by. These six laws are:
- Do no Harm – To use more natural and non-toxic therapeutic methods and to reduce the use of toxic medicine as much as possible.
- Identify and treat the cause – treating the underlying cause instead of treating the symptoms in isolation
- The healing power of nature – relying on the innate healing power of a person
- Doctors as teachers – inform and educate the patients about means to achieve a healthy life.
- Treat the whole person – all the aspects of a patient are taken into consideration; physical, psychological and spiritual.
- Prevention – Importance given to disease prevention.
Naturopathic treatments can be efficiently applied to many health conditions such as allergies, digestive issues, obesity, chronic pain, heart diseases, hormonal imbalances and stress related conditions. As it becomes apparent, Naturopathic Medicine, though it is not as popular as general medical forms, has many benefits within itself. Following are some of these benefits being broadly discussed.
Positive influence to the mind
Many studies have proven that using natural substances calms the mind and brings mental clarity. The Naturopath process is a deep interweaving of Nature’s healing substances with determined factors of each patient. There is much concentration given to addressing the patient’s complete being; physical, psychological and spiritual. This is done to make a positive influence on the patient’s mind. With the consultations from the Naturopathic doctor, the patient tends to change their mental state from negative to positive. This can be seen as the first step of preventing potential health issues as the way of thinking can have a deep impact on the way a person’s health changes. Naturopathy motivates the patient to be aware of their self. Self-awareness forces the person to pay more and more attention to maintaining the positivity of mind and to develop healthy habits and coping strategies.
Enhancement of wellbeing
As prominent components of the Naturopathic treatment process, the Naturopathic doctor provides the patient with lifestyle counseling, nutrition counseling, exercise guidelines among and several other consultations. In lifestyle counseling, the Naturopathic doctor educates the patient on how to develop healthy habits such as proper sleeping schedules, meditation practices, social connections and managing stress-related situations. Nutrition counseling consists of advice on eating habits and daily nutrition intakes; the Naturopathic doctor would consult the patient to increase the amount of natural food to the diet plan and to reduce any sort of artificial food as much as possible. Exercise is seen as one of the best ways to maintain the positivity of both physical and mental health and at a Naturopathic clinic a patient often recieves a plan for daily exercises which they can follow by their self. All these components enhance the wellbeing of the patient; physical well-being and psychological wellbeing helps the patient to achieve the spiritual wellbeing as well.
As discussed earlier, one of the main concentrations or one of the main objectives of Naturopathic Medicine is to prevent any diseases that affect the patient. Once a patient visits a Naturopathic dispensary for treatment, a Naturopathic doctor gives attention to first improve the current health situation of the patient by treating to the core cause of illness. Then a Naturopathic doctor would give the complete attention to address the patient’s health history, lifestyle and other components that can cause the patient to be affected by diseases in the future. As mentioned above, the importance given to enhancing the wellbeing of the patient plays a prominent role in disease prevention.
Customized treatments for each patient
One of the key benefits of Naturopathic medicine is how it is not tailor made but individualized. There are basic general treatments, diagnosis and consultation practices. However, the process that takes place in a session with a patient is not pre-planned and does not follow a rigid routine. Naturopathy believes that each patient to be unique and the Naturopathic doctor considers each case to be looked at with fresh eyes. This practice makes Naturopathic medicine become more effective. Naturopathy focuses on enhancing the healing power of the body and follows the belief that this process should be undertaken in ways suitable to individual patients. As the Naturopathic doctor pays great attention to the patient, thus encourages a positive mindset from the beginning and co-operation with the treatment process.
A combination of many medical forms
As Naturopathic medicine is a combination of many medical forms as well as both traditional and modern medical forms, some may consider it to be more dynamic than general medical practice. Components of different medical forms such as herbal medicine, homeopathy, vertebral adjustments, massage therapy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and diet therapy are used in Naturopathy. This variety can offer a patient seeking help from a Naturopathic doctor various benefits.
Natural and toxic-free medicine
The term Naturopathy suggests its core connection to Nature. Naturopathic treatment vehemently promotes the use of natural and toxin-reducing medicine. In the ancient times, herbs and other natural substances such as mineral powders had been used for making medicine which Naturopathy advocates appear supportive of reviving. This is done with a modern understanding of the principles and components and actions of those substances. Patients can access these natural medicines during their visit to the Naturopathic dispensary.
Treatments are safe and effective
Using Natural medicine and combinations of traditional and modern medical forms, Naturopathy is considered to be safe and effective when administered correctly. As the use of artificial chemicals is minimized, the patient can anticipate a natural treatment process which promotes his or her wellbeing. This is not to say that the journey will be easy.
Comparatively low cost
Even though the treatment process which includes personalized treatments and natural medicine may sound expensive, Naturopathy may cost the county comparatively less than following general medical forms. This may well be due to the preventative component of Naturopathy which treats the fundamental issues of the patient, supports wellbeing the immunes system included, thus potentiating health versus disease. Naturopathy keeps the eye on the goal of promoting and improving the healing ability of the patient’s body. It helps the patient to maintain a good health condition for as long as humanly possible and works to reduce the costs on health concerns.
All these benefits are provided through Naturopathic medicine by Naturopathic doctors. As there are people who question the qualifications of Naturopathic doctors it should be mentioned that all Naturopathic doctors achieve their titles after systematic education and training process. Following college education, including pre-medicine studies, they thereafter attend Naturopathic College/University where they are educated and trained examined and licensed to practice as Naturopathic doctors. Thus this is a licensed professional who is capable of interacting with other professionals and upon whom patients can rely.
It becomes apparent that Naturopathy is completely a person-centric, safe approach which utilizes nature and the knowledge from modern scientific developments to provide the patient with a supportive life-style treatment process. As it directs great attention on prevention of illnesses, it may be considered for its efficiency and convenient natural medical approach to health.