Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The main difference is in philosophical approach. Naturopathic Physicians treat patients by restoring overall health rather than suppressing a few key symptoms. Naturopathic Physicians are more concerned with finding the underlying cause of a condition and applying treatments that work in alliance with the natural healing mechanisms of the body rather than against them. Naturopathic treatments result less frequently in adverse side effects, or in the chronic conditions that inevitably arise when the cause of disease is left untreated. Naturopathic Physicians typically spend more time with patients, taking a more comprehensive approach to the doctor-patient relationship. Sharing information and answering questions is considered an essential aspect of Naturopathic health care.
Yes. The safety record in states with regulatory boards is excellent. Naturopathic Physicians are experts in the safe use of natural therapies.
Naturopathy encompasses the entire spectrum of natural medicine, of which Homeopathy is just one part. Homeopathy is a system which uses extremely small doses of natural substances to stimulate the body’s own ability to heal, and thus is based on many of the same principles as Naturopathy – treating the cause, treating the whole person, doing no harm, and using the healing power of nature. Homeopathy is part of the foundation of Naturopathic medicine, yet it may be taught and practiced just by itself and by health care providers who are not Naturopathic Physicians.
The academic training in medical sciences of Naturopathic and conventional Physicians is similar. Both study modern physical, clinical and laboratory diagnosis. Both can diagnose a disease and predict its course. Naturopathic Physicians may also perform minor surgery and prescribe some drugs. Both Naturopathic and conventional Physicians refer patients to other health care practitioners when appropriate.
Yes. Naturopathic medicine is best for chronic conditions and for preventative care.
Naturopathy outshines conventional medicine in conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, recurrent ear infections, and acute viral infections such as the flu and the common cold.
Naturopathic medicine shares a foundation of diagnostic methods with conventional medicine. Although treatment approaches may differ, they are not mutually exclusive. Many patients are under the care of both a conventional Physician and a Naturopathic Physician, utilizing the strengths and minimizing the limitations of each approach. In an ideal world, patients would always be able to access the best of both systems. Naturopathic medicine has effective treatment for many problems that conventional medicine fails to cure, such as asthma, arthritis, migraine headaches, diabetes, and hypertension. Recently, conventional medicine has incorporated some Naturopathic wisdom in the areas of nutrition, diet, exercise therapy, and mind-body correlations.