More and more people are becoming interested in natural forms of treatment and alternative ways to heal the body. This has led to an increase in popularity for naturopathic medicine and doctors but also comes with questions about the background and training of Naturopathic Doctors and the practices employed.
You might not realize that a licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness and are considered Primary Care Physicians by the State of California. The goal of a naturopathic doctor is to treat the underlying cause of the patient’s illness or pain versus treating the symptoms a patient is experiencing.
Why Naturopathic Medicine?
With healthcare costs continually on the rise and a desire to reduce the number of interventions a person needs on a regular basis, naturopathic medicine becomes a desirable option for treatment as well as prevention. More specifically, naturopathic medicine is beneficial to people dealing with chronic pain of any kind, managing hormonal imbalances, or dealing with symptoms that seem to have unknown causes. Naturopathic medicine can also be used in conjunction with conventional medicine to minimize the side effects of harmful treatment options. One key focus of naturopathic medicine is to evaluate someone’s health by looking at the whole picture in conjunction with lab results, not just physical issues.
How Do Naturopathic Doctors Differ?
Naturopathic doctors are looking at the complete picture of what’s happening with a patient in order to address the underlying causes. They use extensive lab testing and also Epigenetic testing to diagnose the root cause of illness and complaints. NDs typically spend one hour with their patients during an initial consultation in order to get a comprehensive and individualistic picture of their patient and to determine what labs and tests to order.
Naturopathic doctors also look at the symptoms and the physical ailments and the outside factors in a person’s life that might be having negative effects on their health.
A person’s mental state can play a huge role in physical issues, so it’s important to understand a person’s background, medical and family history, current routines including what type of work a person does and how much stress it causes, etc. In conjunction with extensive lab and (possibly) genetic testing, and by getting a complete history and profile of an individual, a naturopathic doctor can decide the best treatment options to increase the odds of it being successful.
The effectiveness of treatment prescribed by your naturopathic doctor will be measured by improvement reported by the patient and also quantified scientifically by follow up testing of diagnostic labs.
We are happy to sit down with you and discuss our practice and different treatment options to give you peace of mind as well as hope for maintaining or improving your health in a way that’s best for you. Schedule your appointment with KOI Wellbeing today to start working on your plan for more comprehensive health care.