Why Consider a Naturopathic Doctor?
You aren’t feeling your best but can’t pinpoint the reason. You go to see your doctor who tells you that you’re suffering from stress. He prescribes some medicines which you take faithfully. But the feeling doesn’t go away, you feel worse as days go by. Finally, you talk to your friend who tells you how visiting a naturopathic doctor turned her life around. You visit her doctor who asks many questions about different aspects of your life and finally gives you some natural remedies. A few weeks later, you are back to your old self – happy, vivacious and relaxed.
Naturopathic medicine has become a force to be reckoned with. It is a form of alternative medicine that employs an array of natural modalities like herbalism, homeopathy, diet and lifestyle counseling, and acupuncture. Naturopathic doctors use a holistic approach to treat patients. They focus on non-invasive treatment and avoid using drugs or surgery, whenever possible.
What Is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a primary health care system that combines natural forms of medicine with modern scientific knowledge. The core focus of naturopathy is to activate the body’s healing power and treat the original cause of disease. Naturopathic physicians view symptoms of diseases as warning signals of poor functioning of the body and bad lifestyle habits. Disease is seen as a process and not an entity.
Naturopathic medicine treats both mild and chronic conditions and the remedies are chosen according to the patient. During consultation, naturopathic doctors examine psychological factors, physiological factors, environmental factors, spiritual factors, lifestyle factors, and other factors. They may recommend diet and lifestyle changes in addition to natural therapies. Clinical nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, hydrotherapy, and naturopathic manipulation may be used during treatment.
A History of Naturopathy
Naturopathy is a term made up of two words: the Latin word natura and the Greek word pathos. When joined, these words mean natural healing. Naturopathy as we know it today was birthed by Europe’s Natural Cure Movement. Thomas Allinson started promoting hygienic medicine in the 1880s in Scotland. He advised people to switch to a natural diet, to avoid tobacco and overworking, and to exercise in order to stay healthy.
The term naturopathy was invented by John Scheel and made popular by Benedict Lust who introduced naturopathy into the US. Lust was taught hydrotherapy and other natural health practices by Father Sebastian Kneipp in Germany. The Father then sent Lust to the US to teach Americans about his drugless methods. Kneipp viewed naturopathy as a broad discipline and not as a specific method. He included techniques such as homeopathy, hydrotherapy, herbal medicine, and avoidance of too much alcohol, tea, and coffee.
After growing rapidly, naturopathy became unpopular for many decades after the 1930s. But in the 1970s, the holistic health movement became popular in the US and Canada, leading to increased interest in naturopathy.
What Is a Naturopathic Doctor?
A naturopathic doctor, also called a naturopathic physician, merges the wisdom of nature with modern science. He uses protocols that lower the risk of harm and help facilitate the body’s innate ability to maintain and restore optimal health. It is his role to pinpoint and remove obstructions to good health by helping create a curative internal and external environment.
Naturopathic doctors undergo naturopathic training which comprises basic and diagnostic sciences – including clinical physiology, anatomy, embryology, pathology, biochemistry, pharmacology, immunology, lab diagnosis, physical and clinical diagnosis, and naturopathic and traditional approaches to enhancing and maintaining patients’ health.
Naturopathic physicians work closely with other healthcare professionals through referral and consultation. They identify and manage the underlying causes of diseases and not just the symptoms. During consultation, they identify the imbalances within patients and use proven solutions to rectify these imbalances.
Naturopathic doctors use minimally invasive methods and naturally occurring substances to promote natural healing. Their main concern is to improve patients’ health and wellbeing.
How to Become a Naturopathic Doctor
Nothing is as rewarding as helping people with their health. If you are interested in joining this ever-growing field, do the following.
- Get a bachelor’s degree. Choose a degree program that includes prerequisite courses in anatomy, chemistry, physiology, biochemistry, and cellular biology.
- Get a medical degree. Unless you plan to practice in one of the states that licenses naturopathic doctors, you must get a professional medical degree.
- Finish a graduate-level course in naturopathic medicine.
- Pass licensing examinations for naturopathic physicians.
- Meet state licensure conditions.
- Take part in a residency program.
Techniques Used in Naturopathy
To help patients attain maximum health of the body, mind, and soul, naturopathic physicians use different methods. These include:
- Herbal medicine: plant based products are filled with natural compounds and chemicals which treat a wide range of diseases.
- Nutrition: Whole foods and super foods are carefully chosen to nourish and strengthen patients and to eliminate allergies.
- Acupuncture: When small needles are inserted into specific points in the body, they can clear blockages and activate organs. This is done by opening up the energy in certain meridians. All disease is caused from blockage of energy, either emotionally or physically, or both. These tiny needles gently break the coagulated energy up and allow for the free flow of energy to ensue. When the energy is moving it carries with it the oxygen, nutrients and other support to allow the body to work most efficiently. When this occurs natural healing occurs.
- Meditation: Visualization and soothing techniques promote physical and mental recovery. The Breath is so critical for reduces stress and keeping the energy moving. Breathing in slowly through your nose to the count of 5, then holding it for the count of 5, then exhaling through the mouth to the count of 5 (repeat the cycle 5 times) will cause the stress hormones to decrease and peace and healing to ensue.
- Homeopathy: Medicines derived from plants, minerals, and animals are used to treat a patient’s body, mind, and soul and not just the disease. This is also energetic medicine. This is a most powerful modality for healing. It is non invasive and works by introducing the energy of the substance that has the same symptoms that you are experiencing. (The Law of Similars.) By giving the same energy as what you are experiencing the body heals itself.
- Physical Therapy or Massage: These get rid of built up tension and treat both physical and emotional disorders. Every cell has an emotional component to it. When you receive Physical Therapy, Massage or Bodywork you break up the stagnated energy that is stuck in the cells of the muscles and joints. When disrupted or interrupted the energy is released and the flow is activated.
- Flower Essence: Used to treat emotional disharmony like fear, loneliness, and anger. Flower Essences are also powerful ways to open up the energy to allow the body to heal itsself.
Is Naturopathy for You?
The answer to this question is a booming “Yes!” Most of us run on full power. We have high-stress jobs and very active social lives. Since we are ever busy, we rarely have time to eat healthy meals. As a result, we are never energized or positive. We may feel jittery and rundown, have trouble sleeping, or suffer from constant headaches and stomach aches. You may think the answer is pharmaceutical drugs but it isn’t. If you want to live a stress-free, happy, and fulfilled life, see a naturopath. They will make you to take a closer look at your life and yourself. You’ll become more self-aware and embark on the journey to a healthier you.
Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.