“Natural path”… “Nature-o-path”… “Nature’s path”
I must admit, “Naturopathic Medicine” can be just about as confusing as the name when you first hear about it!
So what is it really all about?
I like to break it down piece by piece by taking a look at the words involved:
Naturopathic Medicine Doctor
Naturo = nature
Path = pathology
Medicine = the practice of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease
Doctor = Someone who is trained to practice medicine, but also, (as derived from the latin verb docere), to teach.
So bringing that all together, Naturopathic Doctors are people who look to the nature of the pathology, or in other words, the root cause of the disease or condition. Using their medical training they determine a diagnosis, and a treatment.
Interestingly enough, there is no real mention of “natural”. Not in the words, and not in the philosophies of naturopathic medicine. Why?
Naturopathic Medicine is about more than swapping in a natural health product instead of a drug. It is a different way of thinking about the body as a whole, reducing the burden on the body so that the body can repair itself as it is meant to, and teaching people to become the masters of their own health.
It just so happens that one of the best ways to do this is by using safe, non-invasive, gentle, natural therapies. These can include, herbal or plant based medicines, acupuncture and Asian medicine, nutrition, lifestyle counselling, hydrotherapy, and physical medicine, homeopathy. If these tools are not enough, Naturopathic Doctors are trained in some pharmaceuticals and can prescribe or refer to a Medical Doctor for support.
It’s not about either, or. Conventional or alternative. It’s about conventional and alternative treatments working together to give you the best result for your body, and your health.
Yours in Health & Happiness,
Dr. Ashley Nelson, ND
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