If you’re looking for a naturopathic doctor, you may be overwhelmed by the options available to you. There are different naturopathic doctors, and each may have a unique area of specialization. With this in mind, it’s essential to research your options and choose a doctor who is a good fit for your needs. In this post, Collingwood Naturopathic Clinic will discuss some critical considerations for selecting a naturopathic doctor.
Before you begin your search for a naturopathic doctor, you need to understand naturopathic medicine.
What Is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct form of primary health care that blends modern scientific principles with ancient and traditional methods. The philosophy underpinning naturopathic medicine is that nature answers healing and health.
Naturopathic medicine aims to work with the body to identify and remove obstacles preventing people from getting well and then help their bodies heal themselves. Naturopathic interventions may include nutrition, lifestyle counseling, herbal medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture. A naturopathic doctor may also recommend conventional medical treatments if necessary.
Now that you know what naturopathy is, how do you go about choosing a naturopathic doctor?
Licencing And Certification
The first step to identifying an excellent naturopathic doctor is to ask if they are licensed or certified. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) need to have an accredited medical degree from a school of naturopathic medicine, and they must pass a comprehensive exam to be licensed.
The following are accredited institutions for naturopathic medical training in North America:
- Bastyr University
- National University of Naturopathic Medicine
- Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences
- University of Bridgeport- College of Naturopathic Medicine
You can verify licensure from The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), which provides a directory of licensed NDs.
Find Out About The ND’s Treatment Options
When you schedule an appointment with a licensed ND, you may be expecting your doctor to talk about symptoms. But there’s a big difference between MDs and NDs. A licensed ND takes your medical history, performs a physical exam, and considers your mental and emotional health. Therefore you need to ask your ND for more information about their treatment plan.
Most NDs partner with other medical professionals like an MD or medical acupuncturist and focus on treating your underlying cause rather than just the symptoms. These treatment modalities can lead to better health because if you’re trying to treat the cause, wouldn’t it make sense to consider the mental and emotional aspects? The goal is to have a healthy lifestyle, not just symptom relief.
Ask If They Use A Holistic Approach
Your ND will be one of the best allies in your healing journey — a true healthcare partner. It would help if you had someone who thinks like an MD and incorporates a holistic approach that appreciates the importance of diet, lifestyle, and environmental pressures on your health.
Ask also if they have additional training that goes beyond conventional lab work. Some NDs specialize in sports medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, or mental health — all of which require a more comprehensive understanding of your whole person, not just symptoms alone.
What Are Their Diagnostic And Prescribing Methods
Unlike MDs who focus on diagnostic testing and prescription medications but don’t usually address nutritional needs or underlying causes of illness, naturopathic doctors look at your whole picture. NDs assess a range of factors—from genetic factors to lifestyle choices—to determine the underlying source of your condition and create an individualized treatment plan that’s safe and effective for you. Naturopaths use natural strategies, including botanicals, nutrition, supplements, homeopathy, and lifestyle changes to support the body’s innate healing abilities.
Keep Your Needs In Mind
When you need a Naturopathic Doctor, you must choose the one best fit your needs. NDs will practice in specific areas like heart disease or obesity; therefore, choose an ND specializing in your area of need.
If you’re looking for a Naturopathic Doctor, be sure to inquire about their treatment modalities and ask if they take a holistic approach. A licensed ND considers the physical aspects of illness and mental and emotional factors that may have triggered it or exacerbated its effects on your health. Furthermore, naturopaths do not rely solely on conventional medical treatments if they are deemed necessary. But instead, try to address underlying causes of illness by employing natural strategies like botanicals, nutrition supplements, homeopathy, and lifestyle changes that can lead to better health. If you’re trying to treat the cause, why wouldn’t it make sense to consider the mental and emotional aspects? The goal is to have a healthy lifestyle -not just receive symptom relief.