If you like the idea of relying on the healing power of nature, you may want to explore naturopathy. About one million Americans seeks naturopathic treatments each year, and you can find practitioners in many countries around the world.
Naturopathy began in Germany and spread throughout the nineteenth century. Benedict Lust, one of its founders, opened the first known health food store in New York City in 1895, selling vegetables, fruit, and homeopathic medicines.
Today, naturopathy still emphasizes self-healing and favors the least invasive forms of treatment. Take a quick look at the benefits of naturopathy and how to make them work for you.
Benefits of Naturopathy
1. Live healthy. Keeping yourself in good condition is the essence of naturopathy. Eat whole foods, exercise regularly, manage stress, and sleep well.
2. Coordinate your treatment. You may need conventional care for serious health conditions or any issue that requires prescription drugs or surgery. Keep your whole health team updated so that they can coordinate your care and avoid any harmful interactions.
3. Take fewer drugs. By viewing drugs as a last resort, you may be able to cut down on the pills you take. That can save you money and reduce the risk of side effects.
4. Become better educated. Naturopaths believe in teaching. You’ll learn more about good nutrition, positive psychology, and other important subjects.
5. Address root causes. Many people like the philosophy of going beyond symptoms to tackle root causes and care for the whole person. You may even enjoy more long lasting relief.
6. Focus on prevention. Prevention is always the best approach. Habits like maintaining your ideal weight can protect you from diabetes and other conditions.
1. Take a bath. Hydrotherapy has a long history in European spas and Native American sweat lodges. Modern research confirms that raising your body temperature boosts your immune system.
2. Try manipulative therapies. Naturopathy incorporates physical therapies like chiropractic and massage. They’ve been proven highly effective in some cases of back pain and sore muscles.
3. Consider acupuncture. Acupuncture is another age old therapy that is now widely accepted. Some insurance companies will even help cover your costs.
4. Receive lifestyle counseling. As mentioned, lifestyle changes play a big role in your health outcomes. Naturopaths can explain the latest research and help you find solutions that you can fit into your daily routine.
1. Check credentials. Qualifications vary widely. Some states have licensing and educational requirements while others do not. Keep in mind that the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education is the only agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
2. Understand the scope of practice. Naturopaths who are not also medical doctors may be restricted from providing certain types of care. This could include prescribing drugs or delivering babies.
3. Seek referrals. Ensure your practitioner can provide any referrals you need. Ask them about their network and specialties.
4. Exercise caution. There are a few controversial issues to keep in mind. Whatever else you hear, consult objective sources on the value of childhood vaccinations. You may also need to be careful about extensive fasting or taking specific herbs. Talk with your doctor about any concerns.
5. Read your insurance policy. Contact your insurer to see if they cover naturopathy or offer a rider that you can purchase for such alternative care. If you need to finance it yourself, talk with your practitioner about ways to save money, like purchasing supplements online.
Your body contains a powerful force for self-healing. Naturopathy may be one element in a combination of treatments that will help you live a longer and healthier life.