Why do patients prefer naturopathic medicine?
"You're what kind of doctor?"
Usually patients end up at naturopathic doctors after they've exhausted "conventional medicine." Only after trying everything else out and finally doing their own research do most patients discover the potential and surprisingly long history of natural medicine. Most people have never heard about naturopathic medicine and find it hard to believe that such a remarkable form of medicine could even exist in the first place.
Getting to the deeper cause
Naturopathic medicine is a growing field in medicine that seeks to understand the cause of illness, using conventional science and traditional medicine. What makes naturopaths different is their approach to the patient. We look at the whole person experiencing the illness, across their entire lifetime, within the body, mind, and environment. And for treatment, naturopaths use therapies that build the body's ability to heal itself while also directly addressing symptoms.
Level of education
Naturopathic doctors licensed as ND or NMD are trained in both conventional and alternative medicine to offer primary care and a large variety of specialty medicine. Accredited naturopathic medical schools spend 4-6 years in a rigorous basic and clinical science, and do extensive training in specialties. Naturopathic education emphasizes physiology and biochemistry more than any other form of medicine, allowing the naturopath to solve complex problems that present in each patient uniquely.
Naturopathic doctors look to modern science to inform their clinical decisions, and use the safest and most effective methods to produce a cure, first using natural methods like herbal medicine, nutrition, physical medicine, and homeopathy. Then in licensed states naturopathic doctors or physicians prescribe drugs and are trained to refer patients within the medical system.
Spending time with your doctor
Naturopathic visits may last from 30 to 120 minutes, with most of that time spent in direct contact with the doctor. It is important for the doctor to spend the time to listen to each patient in order to uncover what makes them unique - and then educate that unique individual in healthy lifestyle choices for them.
This means that patients walk away from each visit with the satisfaction of being heard. Patients develop deep relationships with their naturopathic doctor that last over their entire lifetime.
Natural substances INSPIRE medications
For thousands of years natural medicines have been used for specific ailments, and this lineage continues today. Many pharmaceutical medications are predicated upon the active constituents of natural substances, some of which are mentioned in this article entitled, “A Historical Overview of Natural Products in Drug Discovery” (click link to visit article page in a new window).