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Tuesday, May 4, 2010
You’ve tried mineral makeup, switched to green cleaning products and are committed to buying local, responsibly produced food – so why not take a natural approach with your health too? Naturopathy is a smart, holistic movement that treats healthcare as collaboratively as possible. With an ND, you’re in charge of feeling your best. In that spirit, here are 6 reasons to book your next checkup with a naturopath:
1. They’re pros: Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are highly educated primary caregivers whose training closely parallels the training of medical doctors, with three years of undergraduate pre-med sciences, followed by a four-year clinical program. NDs draw on Asian and botanical medicine, genetics, nutrition, homeopathy and lifestyle counseling in their approach.
2. You’ll feel empowered: NDs act as teachers and patients are their partners in care – they share knowledge and information and urge patients to be proactive in their treatment. Naturopathy emphasizes the body’s own ability to regulate and heal itself, and NDs work to enhance that capacity in patients.
3. It goes deeper: Instead of tearing off a prescription for a drug to suppress a specific symptom, NDs look at the big picture: the physical, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors that affect health. While they do work to treat and alleviate symptoms, they also aim to investigate and eliminate the underlying causes of illness. For instance, an itchy, annoying skin rash may benefit from some kind of topical cream to calm the irritation, but an ND will also go deeper to examine the trigger of the rash – whether it’s dietary, emotional, environmental or a tangle of multiple factors.
4. It’s good for ladies: Women’s health concerns are among the most common that NDs see in their practices. They can help with a range of hormonal issues, including heavy, painful periods, PMS, emotional highs and lows, fertility, pregnancy and birth, and even yeast infections. With their female patients, NDs help to balance hormones naturally and prevent disease (like heart disease and breast cancer – two of the leading causes of death in women) before it occurs.
5. They offer guidance: You might be self-medicating with a host of herbs and supplements without being quite sure if they’re helping, or, for that matter, safe. Or maybe you regularly put yourself through a detox with only the tentative guidance of a health store clerk. An ND can set you straight and make sure your treatment plan is effective and safe.
6. You’re covered: Most extended health care packages cover visits to NDs – check with yours.
This week is Naturopathic Medicine Week. For more info, visit www.oand.org.