What Is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is healthcare that uses the benefits of nature to cure diseases. A naturopathic doctor treats a patient considering regaining or retaining overall well-being. They treat patients of all age groups and gender. The practitioner will take a complete personal and family medical history to know about the patient's lifestyle and the root causes of the disease. It will also let the doctor know the psychology and mindset of the patient. They will also perform physical examinations and diagnostic tests to confirm the disease. A naturopathy practitioner or doctor can be called a naturopath.
How Does a Naturopath Treat a Patient?
Naturopathy is a non-invasive treatment that involves the following steps:
Dietary Advice or Nutrition Therapy: Consumption of processed and fast foods in the form of fried or junk products leads to the accumulation of toxins in the body over time. The accumulated toxins get hard to remove and cause disease in human beings. Naturopathy involves counseling the patient about the nutrients required, their functions, and their necessity. Since the naturopath takes a detailed lifestyle history of the patient, the food habits get clearly understood. They provide a detailed diet chart or advice about the foods to be included. Eating right helps in preventing many diseases.
Medicines From Nature: No chemical drugs or medications will be given to the patient in naturopathic medicine. The medicines given will be derived from nature. It is based on the belief that natural herbs can prevent diseases and support the body. As a result, the side effects will be almost nil. They may also prescribe dietary supplements.
Lifestyle Changes: An unhealthy and improper lifestyle can trigger the factors responsible for causing diseases. A naturopath will focus on advising the patient about practicing a healthy lifestyle. Measures will also be taken to exercise daily, quit smoking and alcohol and limit caffeine.
Water Therapy: Hydrotherapy or water therapy is the method by which water is used to treat diseases. It is also known as aquatic therapy or balneotherapy. In this method, hot water, ice packs, pressurized jets, or cold water may be used to relieve different symptoms.
Physiotherapy: Physical therapy or physiotherapy restores the body's function in case of a disability or injury. It helps in restoring and maintaining mobility in injured patients.
Psychological Counseling: Psychological counseling helps the patient overcome the mental and emotional factors responsible for the illness.
Homeopathy: A naturopath may take assistance from a homeopathy practitioner during the course of treatment.
Chiropractic Medicine: Chiropractic medicine involves the manipulation of the spine or joints to cure musculoskeletal symptoms.
What Are the Principles of Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine works based on the following principles:
The Healing Power of Nature: Naturopathic medicine believes that nature has the power to heal the body from illness. Nature can restore and maintain good health. A naturopath works to achieve well-balanced internal and external health. It is believed that nature supports and motivates the body to heal on its own. This is the reason why naturopaths use substances originating from nature to treat the disease. In addition, they will also ensure that the patient is surrounded by a healthy environment.
Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that a person gets illness due to improper physical, mental, social, emotional, spiritual, or genetic balance. Due to the multifactorial nature of diseases, a naturopath will try to treat the whole person to correct abnormalities related to all the dimensions. That is why the practitioner provides counseling, education, and other treatment techniques.
Identify and Treat the Cause: Treating the symptoms will not cure the disease. The symptom suppression can only give temporary relief but may directly or indirectly worsen the underlying disease. Naturopathic medicine focuses on treating the cause rather than suppressing the symptoms. It also gives importance to removing any obstacles that lead to the disease. Symptoms are mere expressions of the body while fighting against infection or disease.
Do No Harm: Naturopaths use natural and non-invasive measures to treat the patient. Naturopaths use methods and medicines that are non-toxic and harmless to the patients. They focus on treating the cause rather than suppressing the symptoms. Suppressing symptoms can be harmful to the patient. They also depend on nature to diagnose and treat medical conditions. Thus, there will be no harmful side effects.
Doctor as Teacher: Naturopathic medicine believes in the responsibility of a doctor to teach or advise the patient about health and well-being. They should also make the patients literate about diseases, prevention, and natural methods to cure.
Prevention: A naturopath will be able to know the key risk factors and causes in a patient responsible for the disease. They will work to prevent the disease by adopting lifestyle changes and using natural treatment techniques.
In addition to the above six principles, naturopathic medicine follows ten basic principles. It includes the following:
The body has the ability to heal itself.
Enervation is the main cause of disease. Enervation is the feeling of being drained out or tired. Lack of rest, sleep, exercise, and unhealthy eating habits may lead to tiresome and can lead to diseases.
Diseases are caused by the accumulation of end products. Improper excretion of the waste materials or metabolic end products leads to their accumulation. These materials are toxic substances and can lead to a diseased condition.
Acute diseases are the cure and remedial methods. Acute diseases are the body's effort to remove accumulated toxins. Otherwise, it will lead to a worsened chronic condition.
Food does not increase vitality but helps in the building. The food itself is a powerless substance that provides the required nutrients to maintain and perform bodily functions.
Fasting does not cure illness but helps the body to heal. Fasting means physical, sensory, mental, and psychological testing. It means eating nothing and drinking water alone, depending on the level of thirst. It does not remove toxins but helps the body's systems to work perfectly.
Germs are found in a diseased condition and may not cause the disease on their own. Accumulation of toxic products leads to toxemia and may cause diseases. That may make the body weak, making it vulnerable to germs.
Exercise and physical activity balance nutrition and drainage. Physical activities simultaneously help in the growth and development and proper excretion of toxins and waste products.
External treatments give mere relief and not cure. It means allopathy, homeopathy, and ayurveda medicine focuses on the symptoms, not the cause, providing temporary relief and not a permanent cure.
A patient's confidence, patience, and willpower are necessary to cure an illness.
Naturopathy offers harmless cures and prevention against diseases. It follows many principles and beliefs. The techniques used may differ entirely from conventional medicine but can be used along with other practices to eliminate the causative factors without any side effects. Naturopathic medicine follows the above principle that helps treat the body and mind non-invasively.