Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine focuses on using natural remedies to treat patients. The medical practitioner uses herbalism, homeopathy, acupuncture, kinesiology, natural cures, and various therapies to treat patients. Additionally, healthcare providers at the Naturopathic Clinic use diet, nutrition, physiotherapy, and psychotherapy to treat certain conditions.
The Naturopathic Doctor is a primary care provider who works in various settings ranging from private Naturopathic clinics to community health centers.
Note: Practitioners who are licensed as Naturopathic doctors are referred to as Naturopaths, while those who are unlicensed are referred to as Traditional Naturopaths.
Choosing a Naturopathic Doctor has several benefits. Initially, the treatment of your illness will be based on understanding the genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors that contribute to your illness. In the initial consultation, the ND will spend hours understanding all these factors and finding the cause of the problem. Based on the issue, they will use naturopathy treatments to cure your ailment.
Additionally, the doctors provide a tailored plan according to the patient’s personal needs. You will actively participate through therapies and diet plans to treat yourself instead of relying on pharmaceutical drugs. The most common ailments the ND treats are chronic pain, digestive issues, obesity, respiratory diseases, hormonal imbalance, fertility issues, cancer, and many more.
When looking for a Naturopathic doctor (ND), some essential aspects need to be considered. You must research the below mentioned key points before getting treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor:
- Educational Background
Although conventional Naturopath and ND have a common goal of body healing with natural substances, yet there is a vast disparity of training and regulations. It is best to ensure that the ND has a 4-year undergraduate degree in related subjects followed by a 4-year postgraduate degree from a reputable and recognizable institute. Unlike Naturopaths, naturopathic doctors are well trained. Moreover, the NDs study up-to-date advances in conservative and noninvasive modalities to avoid ailments and manage patient symptoms. They take up courses like anatomy, physiology, nutrition pathology, and pharmacology. Hence, education is the chief factor to check before making an appointment with an ND.
You must ensure that the Naturopathic doctor is licensed and isn’t just a traditional naturopath. The licensed ND is educated in the exact basic sciences as a Medical Doctor; however, they also learn holistic and nontoxic methods to therapy, prominently on disease prevention and improving wellness. To open a Naturopathic clinic and work as licensed physicians, they need to pass the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam conducted by different states. Hence, if the physician claiming to treat through naturopathy does not have the license, you must stop consulting them immediately.
Also, an ND only holds a license if they pass the national board examination. Even a state that does not license NDs directly allows them to work alongside Medical doctors only if they are licensed in another state. Therefore, the license is a representation of a reliable, trustworthy, and legal practitioner.
- Think of Your Needs
Naturopathic doctors, being primary caregivers, practice in specific areas like heart disease, obesity, and mental health. Therefore, it is crucial to inquire about their expertise in the issues you are confronting beforehand.
- Verify Their Credentials
Verify the credentials of Naturopathic doctors by checking the state-provided directory of Naturopathic Doctors. Every state that regulates Naturopathic medicine and permits the practice of ND maintains the guide to help its citizens. The doctors work in various settings like private clinics, hospitals, and community health centers, and a directory of the members is made to help patients choose the right ND. If the doctor is not mentioned or your state does not license ND, they will likely be a traditional naturopath.
- Inquire About Their Treatment Approach
Ask the prospective ND or inquire if they can treat health problems from a broader perspective, combining stress level, food, and other factors in your diagnosis. Some practitioners also use functional labs to identify the root cause of the issues. Additionally, inquire whether they choose more realistic strategies or the conventional medicine to treat. If you seek treatment from an ND, it is better to approach one who uses botanical medication and natural solutions to treat patients as they work better than drugs.
A Naturopathic doctor can provide the health solutions you are looking for However, you have to be diligent enough when looking for one to avoid trusting an inexperienced or unqualified one. Also, don’t just take their word for it. You can check out their reviews online or ask for referrals from friends and family.