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Naturopathy Terms to Know
Naturopathy is the belief that the human body has an innate healing ability, or vital force, that it can use to heal itself. Naturopathic physicians are doctors who believe in taking a holistic approach to human health. They use diet, exercise, medical and natural treatments to help a person heal. Below are listed some common medical terms associated with naturopathic physicians.
Holistic Health – The belief that for a person to fully heal, the diagnosis and treatment must take into account a person's physical, spiritual and psychological needs.
Homeopathy – A type of alternative medicine that uses a heavily diluted liquid, called a remedy, to heal. The remedy must be given to the patient many times throughout the course of treatment for it to work. While the remedies are often made from natural and herbal ingredients, because they are so diluted many doctors claim that homeopathy does not work any better than a placebo pill.
Natural Remedy – Refers to natural medicines, such as herbs, that can be used in place of conventional drugs. Because they are natural, they are considered easier for the body to absorb and dispose of without side effects. For example, if a patient suffers from headaches, a naturopathic physician may recommend that the patient drink a certain type of herbal tea instead of taking large amount of over the counter pain relievers.
Acupuncture – A type of alternative medicine that believes the tissues of the human body are connected and that pain in one area is linked to pain in another area. The pain is treated using a set of needles. Those who practice acupuncture strongly believe that it is a source of real medicine, while some medical professionals doubt these claims.
Naturopathic physicians are doctors trained in a variety of natural medical modalities, including homeopathy, holistic medicine, and acupuncture. They use nutrition as the basis for their healing practices, along with herbs and natural health care. This branch of medicine is based on a holistic approach to therapy, often combining conventional clinical medical practices with natural therapies.
While some naturopathic physicians work in a large clinic, many work for themselves in smaller office settings. They can provide a diagnosis for a patient with a particular ailment, suggesting naturopathic treatments and prevention directives. Primary doctors can provide referrals to such physicians, so this is a good first step when contemplating a naturopathic physician.
Naturopathic physicians (ND or NMD) follow naturopathy, which is basically an alternative medical system utilizing natural remedies. It's based on the belief that the body can and will heal and maintain itself. Through minimal use of surgery, drugs, and other conventional medication, naturopaths also generally condemn vaccinations.
Traced back to ancient Greece, this philosophy has evolved in part over the years with the basic premise remaining the same. It gained public awareness in the 18th and 19th centuries as a somewhat valid form of health care. Not many modern medical doctors today subscribe to its theories, but some do realize the positives within part of the philosophy, such as acupuncture's ability to reduce pain through strategically placed needles.
Patients can get additional information on naturopathic remedies and health care practices by talking with their doctor for referrals, seeking out a specialist, and browsing the Internet.