A naturopathic doctor is a medical practitioner who combines natural medical practices with conventional medical science. Essentially, this is a fusion of natural remedies with elements of modern healthcare. There are some who refer to the practice of naturopathy as complementary medicine.
Some of the very first doctors to use botanical medicine are considered responsible for pioneering the naturopathic practice. The roots of naturopathy can be roughly traced back to the late 19th century, in which the American School of Naturopathy officially formalized it into an officially recognized practice.
What you should know about naturopathic doctors
One of the key distinguishing elements of naturopathic philosophy is the belief that every individual should be able to take a sufficient amount of responsibility for the overall state of health. Instead of encouraging the patient to relinquish all of their agency to conventional medicine, naturopathic doctors encourage patients to take a hands-on approach to actively bettering their wellbeing.
Many naturopathic practitioners will consider the biggest culprits of poor health to be impurities in water, air, and food. Naturopathic practitioners will also commonly cite the potentially detrimental effects of ingesting toxic substances, being exposed to harmful chemicals or regularly experiencing work-related stress. A naturopathic doctor will be far more likely to show great interest in the unique lifestyle habits of the patients, which may or may not be conducive to optimal psychological health.
Diagnosis and treatment
After the practitioner has come to a diagnosis from a naturalistic point of view, treatment will consist of the implementation of one or more different kinds of natural therapies. The ultimate aim of the treatment will be a holistic approach to facilitating the best physiological, social, spiritual, psychological, and environmentally-supportive state of being for the patient. The practitioner will aim to guide the patient towards eliminating as many lifestyle deficiencies and toxic environmental influences as possible.
In recent times, naturopathy has gradually evolved into an even more distinct form of medical practice. While naturopathic doctors have gained many confident supporters, there are those who are still relatively skeptical about the merits of turning to natural medicine with the same level of faith that is typically put into conventional medicine.
To determine the exact efficacy of naturopathic medicine for treatment, there has been extensive time invested into conducting evidence-based research. With enough evidence-based research, the proponents of naturopathy hope to heighten steadily the general level of credibility that naturopathic practice has in the public eye.