Naturopathic medicine is fast becoming a popular alternative to conventional medicine. People of all age groups are finding naturopathic medicine a successful strategy to regain optimum health and resolve long-standing health problems. Naturopathic medicine approaches diagnosis and treatment of illness in a whole-body strategy, and seeks to strengthen and tone all systems of the body. The Naturopath individualizes each patient's treatment, including physical conditions, genetics as well as emotional and lifestyle factors.
For example, naturopathic medicine views an ongoing skin condition such as eczema as a symptom of an underlying cause. The naturopath may employ blood cleansing herbs, such as Burdock root, and immune system boosting herbs, such as Echinacea, to address that which is producing the eczema in the first place. Conventional medicine treats the condition as the cause, typically prescribing ointments or such to alleviate the symptoms. The symptoms may go away temporarily, only to ultimately return. The naturopath seeks out the underlying cause and is often able, over time, to eliminate the cause and thus the condition.
Diet and nutrition also fall within the naturopathic medicine system of healing. A naturopathic physician's education includes knowledge of vitamin and mineral deficiencies which may contribute to the condition. We are all learning more about how important diet is as a factor in health, and the naturopath will advise you based on a personal assessment of your health.
Other modalities of naturopathic medicine include physical therapy, fasting, acupuncture, aromatherapy and other natural and non-invasive therapies. Although naturopathic medicine attempts to use only natural and non-invasive treatments, the naturopathic physician is skilled in modern diagnostic testing procedures. If surgery is the necessary treatment, the naturopath will refer the patient to a surgeon. Naturopaths may also prescribe conventional antibiotics in appropriate circumstances.
The concept of naturopathic medicine has been practiced for thousands of years in various cultures around the world. Well known examples include Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Native American Shamanism and the Eclectic American physicians of the 1800's. The current formal designation “naturopathic medicine” grew out of the Eclectic movement, resulting in many fine accredited schools of naturopathic medicine.
Today's naturopathic physicians are rigorously trained and skilled in their field and have three to four years of postgraduate medical instruction.
You can check your local phone book to find naturopathic physicians. You may also want to contact the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
When all is said and done, the popularity of naturopathic medicine is due mainly to the fact that it works! Conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and menopause can be either greatly improved or even eliminated by naturopathic medicine methodologies. You'd be doing yourself a favor to look into this system of healing.