Naturopathy and homeopathy are both used as alternative treatments for healing the body. Many people are under the assumption that homeopathy and naturopathy are one and the same, whereas they are both different. The reason for the confusion is that a naturopath may use homeopathy in their treating of patients.
Naturopathy is a form of alternative medicine which is based on the theory that diseases can be treated without the use of drugs. Instead, techniques such as a balanced diet, exercise, and massage are used to prevent and heal disease. This type of treatment encourages the use of therapeutic methods to help with the self-healing process.
Naturopathy also helps a person improve their diet as proper nutrition plays a significant part in any naturopathic treatment.
Modern and traditional medicine, such as drugs and vaccinations, are greatly discouraged by naturopathic physicians because they disrupt and get in the way of the self-healing process.
Using The Healing Power of Nature
Naturopathy is founded on the principle of the healing power of nature, which is in each person. Physicians who specialize in naturopathy are charged with identifying and removing obstacles that would prevent proper healing and recovery, rather than just eliminating and suppressing symptoms.
Naturopathic physicians assess all risk factors, and make appropriate interventions with their patients in order to prevent disease and illness.
Naturopathic physicians follow 3 guidelines when it comes to treating a patient:
- They utilize methods and natural medicines to help minimize the risk of possibly harmful side-effects.
- Whenever possible, avoid treating a patient’s symptoms with invasive methods.
- Always acknowledge, respect, and work with each patient’s self-healing process, and treat each person as an individual case.
In naturopathy, the physician often holds the role of teacher. They would rather educate you and encourage self-responsibility in taking care of your own health. After all, your body is yours and you are the one responsible for its care.
Total Health and Wellness
They also treat each patient by taking their individual physical, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social factors into account. Naturopathic physicians encourage their patients to pursue spiritual development, as naturopathy believes that total health also includes spiritual health.
Naturopathic treatment includes the following different approaches depending on individualistic needs:
- Dietary and/or lifestyle changes
- Stress reduction
- The use of herbs and/or other dietary supplements
- Manipulative therapy
- Exercise therapy
- A detoxification process that is practitioner-guided and approved
- Psychotherapy and/or counseling if needed.
If you consult a naturopath, you may receive dietary advice, vitamin and mineral supplementation and if required, herbal medicines. Your naturopath is to be your general practitioner.
Naturopaths may include homeopathy in their overall healing program. Botanicals, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy, physical medicine and nutrition and manipulative therapy are also used in naturopathic treatment plans.
Naturopaths encourage their patients to expose themselves to natural substances, such as sunshine, certain herbs and foods, to exercise regularly, meditate and relax. Doing these things helps the body heal itself without the unwanted side-effects of traditional medicines.