What is Naturopathy?

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  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 January 2019
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Naturopathy is a type of medical treatment that relies on natural methods to treat sickness. The theory behind this method is that the body is capable of healing itself through natural methods. A naturopathic doctor treats the whole patient, focusing on treating the mind, body, and spirit.

Naturopathy may be used for a variety of medical conditions. Some of the conditions that are treated include cancer, respiratory diseases, AIDS, allergies, chronic pain, heart disease, digestive disorders, and insomnia. This form of medical treatment has also been used to treat colds and the flu.

Treatments may include acupuncture, colon cleansing, herbs, and nutrition. Scientists have not published any studies that prove the effectiveness of this particular method of medical treatment. Despite this fact, proponents of naturopathy believe that it can improve and maintain the body's health. The goal of a naturopathic doctor is to guide the patient in making lifestyle changes so that the body can heal itself of disease.

When deciding to visit a naturopathic doctor, it's important to choose a doctor who is licensed by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP). Doctors licensed by this agency have graduated from a four-year naturopathic school. After completion of an accredited program, they must pass a national exam in order to practice in the state in which they live.


A patient's first visit to a naturopathic doctor is similar to a visit to a traditional doctor. The naturopathic doctor will interview the patient, learning the patient's medical history. The doctor will also learn about the patient's stress level, family medical history, and any environmental factors that may affect the health.

Next, the doctor will ask the patient questions concerning his or her lifestyle and diet. After the interview, the naturopathic doctor will perform a physical examination on the patient. At times, labs may be ordered for the patient as well.

After an examination, the naturopathic doctor may choose to treat the patient in several ways. He or she may use a conjunction of methods, including colon cleansing, spine manipulation, water therapy, acupuncture, herbs, and other natural methods of achieving a healthy body. No matter which method is chosen, the doctor's ultimate goal is to employ a holistic approach. A naturopathic doctor wishes to treat the whole patient, focusing on the mind, body, and spirit.

If someone chooses to undergo naturopathy treatment, he or she should be made aware of the risks involved. For example, naturopathic doctors may use herbal medicines on their patients. At times, using herbs in conjunction with other drugs or supplements can cause adverse reactions.

Those who suffer from cancer may endanger their lives if they rely solely on naturopathic methods of medical care. Finally, naturopathic treatments may call for extreme dietary changes. This can cause negative reactions in patients with medical conditions such as diabetes.



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