Naturopathic Medicine as an Important Component of Patient Care
Many successful treatment outcomes in medicine incorporate alternative therapies as part of a well-rounded approach to providing effective patient care. While there continues to be some skepticism in the mainstream, the field of natural medicine continues to gain ground as a result of supporting research and improved outcomes for patients.
Naturopathic medicine differs from conventional treatment in that it focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of the illness rather than on treating related symptoms of the condition. Naturopathy is based on the philosophy that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. Holding true to this belief means that naturopathic practitioners help their patients to establish and incorporate healthy lifestyle habits to support optimal health and wellness.
There are various treatments utilized in naturopathy, but some of the universal modalities include:
- A healthy diet
- Dietary supplements
- A supportive healthy lifestyle
Good nutrition is at the center of good health. A healthy diet that is comprised of whole foods, or foods in their natural state, is an important part of any overall wellness plan and equally important in the management of presenting health concerns. Eating foods more in line with our body’s composition as opposed to highly processed and preserved foods can go a long way to support overall health and wellness.
Additionally, naturopaths may prescribe dietary supplements including vitamins, minerals, and herbs as an adjunct to dietary changes. Some practitioners will utilize homeopathic formulations as well. Homeopathy is based on the principle that like cures like and this is another recognized approach to restore balance and wellness in the body. Dietary supplementation is often important to correct any identified underlying nutrient deficiencies, and can result in improved symptoms and overall bodily function for patients.
Along with diet and supplements, naturopathy recognizes the importance of developing healthy lifestyle habits to support good health and optimal wellness. Patients who exercise, get proper rest, and utilize a healthy management approach to everyday stressors often achieve better health and therefore a better quality of life.
While some see naturopathy as an alternative to conventional medicine, it is likely best utilized as a complementary approach to traditional methods to support the body’s natural composition and to further promote positive health outcomes.