There are regular doctors, and then there are Naturopathic Doctors. One is just addressing the symptoms of the disease, and the other is treating the whole person.
Holistic medicine, and naturopathic medicine, is more than just treating symptoms – because people are more than their symptoms.
What Does Holistic Medicine Entail?
Holistic medicine is healing and the quest for optimal wellness and health that encompasses the whole person: emotions, spirit, mind, and body.
You can achieve your best holistic health by obtaining balance in your life. When one part of your person is not working, such as emotional distress, it can negatively affect your overall health. If the whole person is not working in conjunction, then it can negatively affect another part of your overall health.
Holistic doctors use all forms of health care, from alternative therapies to conventional medication.
A major principle in holistic medicine is the belief that love and support are powerful healing tools. Other holistic medicine principles include:
- Every people has innate healing powers of their own.
- Each patient is a person, not just a diagnosis or disease.
- You do not heal alone – healing takes a team, and should address all aspects of a person’s life
- Patient’s treatment should involve finding and addressing the cause of the conditions, not just treating the symptoms.
- The American Holistic Health Associate goes into further detail about the principles of holistic medical practice.
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is more than just throwing medication at a problem – for example, if a patient is brought in with migraines, the doctor will look at more than just prescribing medication.
The doctor will look at other potential causes, such as sleep, stress, diet, and spiritual practices, and craft a treatment plan to address the overall cause. The patient will likely leave with pain medication to relieve symptoms, but also modifications to their lifestyle to reduce the stress, etc that could be causing the headaches.
However, naturopathic medicine is a form of medicine that tries to use natural remedies to aid the body in its own healing process. Therapies that you may see in naturopathic medicine practices include herbs, acupuncture, exercise, nutrition, and massage.
Naturopathic medicine is a form of holistic medicine, aimed at treating the root cause of the patient’s illness, not just treat the symptoms.
Naturopathic doctors spend time examining the patient, asking questions about stress, lifestyle, and health history. After any necessary tests are done, your naturopathic doctor will help you to create a personal health plan, focused on prevention and education.
Your doctor may give you tips to change your life, such as stress management, exercise, and specific diets. Complementary medicine could include pressure or massage, or acupuncture. Finally, any traditional medicine practices will be applied.
Pursuing Holistic Nutrition Degrees
Naturopathic doctors attend accredited graduate-level schools. Naturopathic doctors learn the same things as regular, MD doctors do, but also nutrition, psychology, and herbal medicine and homeopathy practices.
If you’re ready to become a Naturorthopathic Doctor and explore naturopathic doctor schools, learn more about the University of Natural Health’s Naturorthopathic Doctor program here.