The art of practicing naturopathic medicine is to identify and treat the underlying imbalance, dysfunction or cause of the patient’s complaints and/or disease in a way which is individualized to the patient, In doing so the N.D. chooses the therapies which will result in the best outcome for the patient. The least invasive and most beneficial therapies are chosen keeping true to the principle of “do no harm”, with the overall goal of optimizing a patients health and well being.
Therapies of Naturopathic Medicine
Clinical nutrition is used to devise a healthy diet and eating plan. It contains a diet and supplement protocol which incorporates the required nutrients to prevent illness and improve overall health. Foods can be used to support organ and/or gland dysfunction. The strength of this therapy is that disease often stems from nutritional deficiencies or excesses and by changing your diet you can improve the quality of your life. Identifying food sensitivities and intolerances and avoiding same decreases healing times and maximizes results.
Botanical medicine or more simply, medicine derived from plants is a very powerful and versatile tool. These medicines can be used topically and internally for a wide variety of conditions. Botanicals act by providing both healing effects and a nutritional value. The key strengths of this therapy are the wide range of botanical to choose from many of which have a specific target within the body. Treatments are tailored to address the individual patient’s needs.
Homeopathic medicine is very effective for acute and chronic conditions, like the common cold and arthritis. Remedy selection is based on the patient’s symptoms, personality, what makes them feel better and what makes them feel worse. The goal of treatment is to “heal the whole person” and homeopathy does this by stimulating the body’s vital force to heal itself and resolve any disharmonies. The strength of this therapy is that it a gentle therapy that works marvelously in patients of all ages, including infants.
Physical medicine works on the body by utilizing massage, naturopathic manipulations (which are similar to chiropractic manipulations), as well as, hydrotherapy- which is treatment with water. These techniques are used to restore the body to a normal state. Additionally, these therapies can have positive benefits to all tissues in the musculoskeletal system, like, muscle, bones, nerves and blood vessels. Bowen therapy falls into this category.
Oriental medicines key focus is to strengthen the patient’s constitution. It consists of acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal medicines. The N.D. looks at your tongue, takes your pulse and asks you many questions to come up with a diagnosis. From there the practitioner devises a treatment plan. Acupuncture helps facilitate the movement of Qi (or Energy) and blood in the body, while herbs add a strong nourishing component to healing. Acupuncture works very well at treating pain and stress because it places the body into a relaxed state.
Lifestyle counselling is an imperative component of naturopathic medicine, since we all live in a high stress society. By taking the time to investigate this avenue the N.D. can help patients develop coping tools which will allow them to recover at a faster pace. By encouraging the patient to incorporate a healthy, active and balanced day-to-day lifestyle the N.D. is facilitating the naturopathic principle of “prevention”. By incorporating these tools the patient’s quality of life will show improvement which may also contribute to a sustained positive outlook on life. There are many herbal and homeopathic remedies as well as phytonutrients that assist the body in overcoming stress, anxiety, depression, etc.
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