What is Naturopathy ?
Naturopathic care is a comprehensive health care approach. Unique in its holistic, natural approach to health and healing, naturopathy offers individualized treatments to help patients feel optimally well on all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Wellness means more than the absence of pain and disease. It’s having the energy to work and enjoy life to its fullest potential. Naturopathic practitioners help restore health by supporting the body’s inherent healing mechanisms using natural and conventional methods.
Why should I choose Naturopathic Therapies?
Naturopathy treats the root cause of disease using the least invasive approach. Your body was created with natural, self-healing abilities that usually will heal you without any intervention at all. Naturopathy supports your body’s natural self-healing abilities and help it restore balance.
Is Naturopathic Care for me?
There are many reasons to choose naturopathy:
- If you have a chronic condition not responding to the usual treatments prescribed by medical doctors.
- If instead of relying on drugs to maintain health for the rest of your life, you prefer that your body heal itself. Naturopathic treatment treats the root cause instead of symptoms.
- If you want treatment that considers all your symptoms and you as a whole person, instead of just a disease to be eliminated.
- If you prefer natural cures to drug based symptom treatment, and want to avoid drug side effects. “All drugs have side effects. A drug without side effects is no drug at all.” – Eli Lilly, founder, Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical company. Also, according to Dr. Janet Woodcock, Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, All drugs have side effects, and even the safest approved drugs have side effects”.
- If you want to be knowledgeable and empowered about your wellness.
Principles of Naturopathy (from Naturopathic.org)?
- First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic medicine follows three principles to avoid harming the patient:
- Use of methods and medicinal materials/substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects
- Avoid as much as possible the suppression of symptoms. (These symptoms are often manifestations of your body’s attempts to heal itself.)
- Work with the individual’s healing process instead of against it.
Your body has a powerful, built-in self-healing ability, provided by Nature. Naturopathic doctors work with this ability by removing blocks to self-healing and otherwise activating natural self-healing abilities. Self-healing is actually the only way healing can occur – even a great surgeon can’t heal a paper cut.
Too often, symptoms are treated instead of the cause. The goal of naturopathic medicine is to treat the root cause rather than managing or suppressing symptoms.
Even if the symptoms are the same, every person and their situation are unique and require individualized treatment. Naturopathic medicine not only considers physical symptoms, but also emotional, environmental, genetic, lifestyle, mental, social, and other factors.
Instead of making you dependent on the doctor for your health care, naturopathic doctors help you understand health and illness. An informed patient is much more likely to maintain and enhance their health.
Health is more than the absence of disease. Optimal wellness is obtained through proper nutrition, exercise, mental health, habits and living.
What can I expect from my first visit to a naturopathic consulatant?
Your first visit with an ND may be one hour or more in length. A very extensive patient history is taken to gather information about your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Based on this history, physical examination, and possibly further specialized testing, your ND will then propose a personalized treatment plan, with your input, to help you achieve your health goals.
How do I pay for a visit to a naturopathic consultant? Are ND's covered by insurance?
The short answer: It depends. Depending on your insurance provider and the state you reside in, naturopathy or other complimentary therapies may or may not be covered. You should check with your health insurance provider to find out for certain. Many naturopathic doctors operate a cash practice, meaning you pay for your visit at the time of the appointment.
What is the education of a naturopathic consultant?
Naturopathic physicians (ND) receive four-year undergraduate training in standard pre-medical courses followed by four to five years of graduate medical training, including a two-year clinical internship.
The four year program incorporates over 4,500 hours of classroom training in basic medical science courses (ie. anatomy,physiology, biochemisty, neuroscience...), clinical sciences (ie. clinical diagnosis, pathology, pediatrics, oncology, & gastroenterology...) and naturopathic therapies, as well as 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience. Overall, academic training in medical sciences of NDs and MDs is similar (see chart comparing education and scope of ND's and MD's in Washington). Graduates from an accredited naturopathic college receive the designation Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND).
Following the completion of their program, NDs must successfully complete the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) in order to qualify for licensing. NPLEX is the standard examination used by all regulated provinces and states across North America. NDs are also required to earn continuing education credits on an ongoing basis to maintain their registration and good standing with the regulatory body.
Does Pennsylvania license naturopathic doctors?
No. But the Pennsylvania Association of Naturopathic Physicians (PANP) is working toward regulation of the naturopathic profession in this state. Licensing provides a clear and unequivocal means for the public to identify and rely on graduate level trained Naturopathic Doctors (NDs). Currently, a bill has been introduced to the PA House and is being reviewed by the House Professional License Committee. For more information, visit www.panp.org.
Do you work with conventional care providers (ex. MD's)?
I feel that it is very important for all healthcare providers to work together in order to provide the best possible care to their patients. I am open to working with your family physician or with any other therapists who are involved with your health team.
Is there anything I should bring to my visit?
If you have had any labs or imaging done within the past year, it is helpful to have a copy of them with you. Also, be sure to write down any questions or concerns you may have ahead of time so that you do not forget to ask during your visit. Lastly, bring with you a list of all prescriptions and supplements that you take on a regular basis, including brand name and dosage. Or, simply put them in a grocery bag and bring them along with you.
*Disclaimer: Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.