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What is Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct medical profession that offers both primary and specialized medical care. Naturopathic medicine can best be described by the education of a naturopathic doctor, modalities used, and approach to treatment. Naturopathic Medicine is based on a holistic approach to care that combines some of the best of conventional modern medicine with traditional, safe, and highly effective naturopathic treatment modalities.
What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopathic doctors are trained in a set of treatment modalities that focus on getting to the root of the patient’s condition. Because of the significant impact of diet on health, naturopaths often use clinical nutrition as a starting point of treatment. From there, naturopaths can use a variety of the other modalities according to their medical judgment and preferences of the patient. Of particular interest to patients with auto-immune conditions is environmental medicine. This modality recognizes the impact of the environment on health in general and the immune system in particular. In treating an environmentally sensitive patient, naturopaths will work to reduce toxic exposure through diet and lifestyle changes, assess toxic body burden, and use treatments that improve the body’s own detoxification function (e.g., GI status, liver function, chelation therapy). Naturopaths also use conventional as well as specialized laboratory testing and are trained in the use of pharmacology and minor surgery when appropriate.
The most significant difference between naturopathic and conventional medicine is in the philosophy of treatment. To a naturopath, the body has an innate ability to heal.
Naturopathic treatment modalities include:
Naturopathic doctors believe food is the foundation of good health and will therefore work with the patient to assure their diet is one that supports health.
The plant kingdom provides an endless sources of natural therapies. Botanical medicines are typically provided in liquid tinctures or dried botanicals in capsule form.
Using spinal and joint manipulation techniques similar to a chiropractor, the naturopath can help restore normal joint function.
It is based on the belief that disease develops when energy (chi) that flows through the body in distinct pathways called meridians becomes blocked. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, chi can be unblocked and the body will return to health.
Everyone is exposed to environmental toxins from air, water, and food. The body has mechanisms to eliminate toxins, however in many chronic disease conditions, the body’s elimination pathways have been compromised. Environmental medicine is a modality that recognizes this imbalance and focuses on eliminating further exposure as well as restoring the body’s detoxification pathways through diet, specific supplementation, chelation, depuration, IV Therapy, etc.
Naturopathic doctors are trained to use all standard lab analysis testing (e.g. blood chemistry, chemistry panel, cholesterol profiles, auto-immunity panels, hormone testing, etc). Naturopaths will also use specialized testing such as Food Allergy IgG Panels, Urine Toxic Metals, Organic Acid Testing, Nutritional Profiles, Comprehensive Stool Analysis and Neurotransmitter testing.