Naturopathic medicine is a unique branch of healthcare that seeks to unlock the natural healing power of the body and find methods to treat and prevent disease that do not cause harmful side effects. Naturopathic physicians use a combination of alternative therapies such as homeopathy, acupuncture and botanical medicine along with traditional science-based methods to provide a holistic method of healing that treats the underlying cause of disease rather than just suppressing the symptoms. Many conditions that do not respond to allopathic care can be treated with naturopathic medicine in a non-toxic way to restore balance and harmony to the mind, body and spirit.
Mental illness such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder is increasingly common among the population, and many people are unable to find effective treatment through traditional channels. Many prescription medicines for mental illness actually cause the symptoms they are designed to prevent, and prescription medicine addiction is one of the fastest growing problems in the US. Naturopathic medicine advises self-help methods of treating mental illness to address the root cause of the disorder rather than simply suppressing the symptoms with drugs. Mindfulness meditation is an effective method of overcoming disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Homeopathic medicine can also be useful in treating certain psychiatric disorders along with counselling and behavioral modification.
Most people suffer with some form of digestive disorder whether it is irritable bowel syndrome, acid indigestion or more serious disorders such as Crohn's disease. Poor diet, stress and certain medications can upset the digestive system, and many traditional medicines often make the problem worse. The vast majority of digestive issues are caused by inflammation in the gut from certain foods that the person is allergic or sensitive to. An elimination diet that involves cutting out certain foods such as gluten or dairy may be advised along with an increase in alkaline foods to reduce acid within the body.
A naturopathic doctor can greatly reduce the side effects of cancer medication through alternative medicines and therapies. Traditional cancer treatment involves the use of highly toxic medications as well as radiotherapy that can ravage a person's natural immune system. A diet rich in nutrients along with dietary supplements can help the body to repair the damage by boosting natural immunity. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and restorative yoga can also help to ease pain and improve overall well-being.
Pregnancy and childbirth is an important time in a woman's life that requires excellent nutrition, gentle exercise and a number of therapies to boost immunity and well-being. A naturopathic doctor can help pregnant and nursing women design a balanced diet as well as advice on options for natural childbirth.
The first appointment with a naturopathic doctor often takes much longer than with a regular physician. Patients are asked about their entire medical history and may be asked to fill out paperwork to allow the doctor to get a more complete picture of their general health. Naturopathic doctors believe in preventing the onset of disease rather than waiting for the symptoms to develop, so doctors will make suggestions on possible lifestyle changes to improve the physical and emotional health of their patients.