A Beginners Guide to Naturopathic Medicine


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Naturopathic medicine treats numerous health concerns, from pediatric to geriatric. It is the approach, belief, and training of naturopathic doctors that set this form of medicine apart from traditional medical care.

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine (naturopathy) is a type of alternative medicine that promotes natural, non-invasive, or self -healing practice. Naturopathic blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine.

Naturopathic medicine believes that the body will heal itself naturally. This alternative form of medicine objective is to improve health, prevent disease, and treat illness through the use of organic foods and exercise with the ideology that a healthy balanced lifestyle and use of herbal treatments can help a person.

Naturopathic medicine is used to diagnose disease, treatment, and prevention using natural therapies such as botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation, lifestyle counseling, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and health promotion and disease prevention.

How Does Naturopathic Medicine Compare to Traditional Medical Care?

Both naturopathic and traditional medical care are doctors. The primary differences are the beliefs and therapies used. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) see patients as individuals by concentrating on the physical, environmental, lifestyle, and emotional aspects of health.

This lets naturopathic doctors find and treat the cause of the disease with numerous therapies. Traditional medical care typically addresses and treat symptoms of illness and use pharmaceutical medicine or surgery.

What’s the Difference in Education Between Naturopathic and Traditional Doctors?

Naturopathy careers are on the rise thanks to the health conscious mindset sweeping the global collective. More and more people are seeking alternatives to the traditional doctor. How do they compare, though?

Actually, naturopathic doctors and medical doctors complete almost the same number of educational hours. However, naturopaths spend nearly 30% more time in a classroom. Their studies are also more in-depth on anatomy, physiology, and orthopedics. Hundreds of hours are spent on nutrition as well.

In comparison, medical doctors (MDs) spend much for their educational hours on surgery and radiology (i.e., x-rays and ultrasounds). Both practices spend similar time on pharmacology, although many naturopathic doctors will never prescribe them, they need to understand how drugs interact.

The education starts to differentiate in the third year when medical doctors begin to specialize in a practice like emergency care, surgery, or cancer. Along with that, they start seeing patients, and nearly 60% of their time is spent in a clinical setting observing.

Naturopathic doctors will specialize in primary care and begin seeing patients during their education and are treating ailments.

What can Naturopathic Medicine Do for You?

Naturopathic medicine handles all forms of medicine concerns from pediatric to geriatric, from small systems to chronic illness and from physical to psychological.

Naturopathic medicine can be beneficial if you are looking for:

  • Disease prevention and health promotion strategies
  • Have a range of symptom that you are unable to address on your own or with the help of other medical practitioners
  • Have been identified with a severe or chronic illness and are looking for treatment options.
  • Looking to combine conventional and naturopathic treatments to minimize side effects of drugs, surgery, or traditional therapies.

When you a naturopathic doctor, they have a variety of non-invasive techniques they use, which include:

  • Nutrient and Diet -a poor diet halts the body from functioning correctly, and a build-up of toxins can head to an assortment of illnesses.
  • Herbs – herbal medicine can help support the body
  • Homeopathy – to motivate the body a naturopath may use homeopathic treatments
  • Hydrotherapy (water therapy) – a naturopath might use hot and cold bandages for specific conditions to stimulate influence the flow of blood and body heat
  • Physical Therapies – These therapies such as kinesiology, massage, acupressure, and bio-puncture
  • Counseling – Naturopaths offer guidance for emotional and stressful problems that can interfere with the recovery process. These techniques can include stress management and life coaching.

A properly trained ND, like Karen Threlkel Naturopathic Doctor, will ask you questions about your diet, lifestyle, environment, family background, and health history when you first go in for a consultation.

After gathering information, a naturopathic doctor will decide on techniques such as kinesiology, iridology, blood analysis, urine and stool samples, hair analysis, and functional testing.


More people are seeking and benefiting from naturopathic medical care. Multiple factors can lead to infection, such as poor dietary choices, chronic stress, lack of proper sleep and exercise.

Experiencing symptoms is the body’s way of trying to let us know that our health requires being examined.

Visiting a naturopathic doctor can benefit someone looking to control their health. Naturopathic medicine along with a treatment involving the patient can improve a person’s health.

About Shannon Clark

Shannon holds a degree in Exercise Science and is a certified personal trainer and fitness writer with over 10 years of industry experience.

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