A Naturopathic Doctor is trained to work with the body’s natural ability to heal and to minimize adverse effects, while still treating the patient effectively.
How is a Naturopathic Doctor different from a Medical Doctor?
The main difference between a Naturopathic Doctor and an Allopathic, or conventional, Doctor is the way we view the body. An Allopathic Doctor uses a reductionistic model, which analyzes the body’s function by observing (and treating) its components. If you have an issue with your skin, for example, you are referred to a dermatologist. If you have a problem with your digestion, you will be referred to a gastroenterologist. The body is conceptually broken down into its individual systems and parts to be assessed and treated.
A Naturopathic Doctor, on the other hand, uses a holistic model to assess and treat the body. Rather than treating symptoms individually, an encompassing underlying cause is sought out that may be manifesting in multiple ways. For example, from a naturopathic perspective, skin and digestive symptoms are often seen as being intimately connected and, as such, are addressed together. In this way, the body is viewed and treated as a whole which is more than the sum of its parts.
So what does this mean for my healthcare?
A Naturopath’s toolbox is much different from that of a conventional doctor. Conventionally, the tools used to treat ailments are drugs and surgery. There are situations where these treatments are warranted, particularly when symptoms need to be controlled or in crisis-management. However, there are many other health scenarios where these treatments may be overused, unnecessary and overpowering.
A Naturopathic Doctor is trained to work with the body’s natural ability to heal and to minimize adverse effects, while still treating the patient effectively. A Naturopathic Doctor’s toolbox consists of holistic modalities that address diet, lifestyle and treatment with natural medicines. Additionally, naturopaths consider the mind-body connection to be critical to a patient’s health and healing.