What is Naturopathic Medicine?

While the term “naturopathic medicine” has been recognized only since the turn of the century, the concept of homeopathy and natural healing techniques is much older than that. In fact, the principles of naturopathic medicine were first practiced thousands of years ago throughout many ancient civilizations, including Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, and European cultures. Exactly what is naturopathic medicine, and why does it continue to be so popular?

What is Naturopathic Medicine’s Evolution?

Hippocrates, the founding father of medicine, lived nearly 2400 years ago. He was the first to recognize the healing powers of nature and the interconnectedness of all systems within the human body. He based his beliefs on thousands of years of natural healing techniques practiced by ancient cultures across the globe. His natural healing principles are still connected to naturopathic medicine’s six-pillar approach to health.

The natural approach to healing remained popular until the early 20th century when these techniques were overshadowed by conventional, institutionalized medicine with its focus on pharmaceuticals. A shift away from holistic medicine occurred when traditional medicine became focused on alleviating the symptoms of illnesses rather than uncovering the root causes of the conditions causing the symptoms. This “a pill for every ill” approach is at the heart of most conventional practices.

In recent times, however, there has been a renewed interest in naturopathic medicine for primary care and for supplementing conventional medical treatments. In what is naturopathic medicine’s most significant advantage for patients, homeopathy focuses on gentle, time-tested, all-natural remedies to boost the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

What’s in a Name?

As the name implies, naturopathic medicine focuses on natural remedies to alleviate symptoms and prevent illnesses. Naturopathic doctors understand that effective treatment involves stimulating the body to heal itself rather than using aggressive, invasive interventions. This is known as homeopathy.

Based on natural healing support techniques, homeopathy is the safest and most effective way to address common illnesses and complaints, from fatigue and brain fog to IBS, allergies, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances.

Because each person’s health picture looks different, naturopathic medicine is unique in its use of personalized wellness plans to ensure maximum health benefits for everyone.

Naturopathic medicine can be your solution for primary care needs, or you can use it to complement more conventional medical care.

What is Naturopathic Medicine’s Six-Pillar Approach?

No matter where a naturopathic medical doctor’s practice is located, patients can rely on a reputable naturopathic office to follow a set of standards called the Six Pillars of Naturopathic Medicine. 

But what is naturopathic medicine’s six-pillar approach?

1. First, Do No Harm

Naturopathic physicians use the least invasive approach to encourage the body’s natural healing processes. 

2. The Healing Power of Nature

Naturopathic physicians understand the body’s ability to heal itself when presented with the proper support. They avoid toxic treatments and focus on the natural world to provide healing support, guiding patients to a healthier lifestyle.

3. Identify and Treat the Causes

Naturopathic physicians understand that symptoms such as fatigue or pain are not stand-alone conditions. Instead, symptoms are caused by deeper medical concerns. Effective wellness plans do not relieve symptoms without first uncovering the medical conditions causing them. Once these conditions are revealed and treated, symptoms resolve naturally.

4. Doctor as Teacher

Naturopathic doctors understand they are just one part of a patient’s wellness plan. The patient plays the most significant role in their own healing process. Naturopathic physicians build trust and educate their patients to ensure an understanding of how to achieve health-related goals.

5. Treat the Whole Person

In what is naturopathic medicine’s most profound understanding of human health, naturopathic physicians recognize the human body as a network of interconnected systems. Any disturbance of one system negatively affects others. These imbalances occur for many reasons, including nutritional and lifestyle choices and genetic or environmental factors.

6. Prevention

Naturopathic physicians place a high value on disease prevention, believing it is better to promote health and wellness than to reverse a condition once it has developed. 

What is the Naturopathic Medicine Advantage?

Naturopathic medicine has several advantages over conventional medicine, as well as over other alternative medicine options.

  • More quality one-on-one time with your provider: Natural medicine providers spend about an hour with each patient, as opposed to what you’ll experience in a fifteen-minute office visit with a conventional doctor.
  • Natural and safe treatments: Unlike conventional treatments, including pharmaceuticals, natural medicine relies on safe, all-natural therapies that encourage the body to heal itself.
  • Focus on the reasons behind your symptoms: A conventional medicine approach fails because it addresses each symptom individually rather than as the result of a deeper issue within the body.
  • Comprehensive care: Naturopathic medicine therapies include a total wellness plan to address all factors contributing to your condition.
  • Preventative medicine: In what is naturopathic medicine’s most significant advantage, your naturopathic wellness plan helps you prevent illnesses before they occur.

At Thrive Naturopathic in Alexandria, Virginia, your health matters. Finding ways to restore wellness and prevent illnesses is our first priority. Now that you know what naturopathic medicine is, contact us for your free, no-obligation discovery call today. 

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