What is naturopathy?
Naturopathy, otherwise known as naturopathic medicine, is the fusion of two disciplines: conventional medicine and “natural” or “traditional” medicine. It is a holistic approach as it considers all the physical, mental, emotional, lifestyle, and environmental factors of the patient. Through therapies and natural medicines – such as herbs, acupuncture, and homeopathy – the inherent healing power of the self can be revitalized for the general well-being.
Modern medicine has conjugated with naturopathic medicine to form the integrative medicine approach. This uses the best of both worlds for a fuller healing process. Clinics are abounding with naturopathic doctors (ND) in concert with medical doctors (MD) along with natural medicine practitioners such as acupuncturists and herbalists.
The principles of naturopathy
- Vis medicatrix naturae: Healing Power of Nature
One of the fundamental beliefs of naturopathy is the ability of the body to heal itself. So, naturopathy aims to support this intrinsic self-healing capacity.
- Primum non nocere: First Do No Harm
ND’s always avoided harming the patient. These practitioners are known for their use of procedures or substances that provide the least force or invasion.
- Docere: Doctors as Teacher
The self-healing capability can only be fully maximized when the patients themselves possess self-knowledge. ND’s promote self-care through an extensive doctor-patient relationship.
Medical Doctors (MD) vs Naturopathic Doctors (ND)
1-Education and training
Licensed NDs finish a 4-year course which follows the structure of a medical school but with an entirely different curriculum. Naturopathic schools are recognized for their all-embracing subjects which comprise of science-based alternative medicine and modern medicine. Unlike medical students, naturopathic students take alternative medicine classes which comprise of homoeopathy and botany.
2-Disease as a process
Naturopathic doctors treat medical conditions as a process rather than an entity. They believe that diseases do not suddenly show up. They take into consideration the in-depth history of their patients including habits, stressful events, etc.
Naturopathy boasts of a patient-oriented treatment rather than the disease-focus method of conventional medicine. ND’s do not interview their patients in just 15 minutes. They take their time to understand the whole persona of their patients. In this case, they act like the olden family doctors whose sessions may last even an hour or two. Furthermore, doctors act as teachers to their patients to encourage self-help. All of this establishes a well-rounded doctor-patient relationship.
4- Going for the root of the illness
Instead of addressing the symptoms of an illness, naturopathy is acclaimed for solving the underlying causes. Their prescriptions of therapies or lifestyle changes isn’t limited to the symptoms but, rather, to the whole well-being of their patient.
Conventional modern medicine relies heavily on synthetic drugs or invasive procedures when deemed necessary. ND’s, on the other hand, will usually prescribe lifestyle changes, diet, stress management tips. This small changes in daily life do not incur large expenses but with maximum benefits.