Naturopathic medicine, a natural approach to health care

health care
Naturopathic medicine utilizes natural therapies from both traditional healing methods and modern science to promote healing. Stock photo.

REGION – Naturopathic medicine is an approach to health care that utilizes natural therapies from both traditional healing methods and modern science to promote healing in the body. At its core, naturopathic medicine emphasizes prevention and approaches health issues from a whole-person perspective that includes body, mind, and spirit. Rather than just managing disease, your naturopathic doctor looks beyond the symptoms to uncover the root cause of your body’s imbalance.

“Doctor as Teacher” is one of six naturopathic principles. “Teacher” is actually the original meaning of the word “doctor.” During a typical visit, your naturopathic doctor will spend time teaching you about your condition and which tools to implement and what role you need to play in order to bring your body into balance. Visits will include exploring lifestyle factors and habits such as diet, sleep, exercise, stress management, etc. These are considered fundamental to health and well-being and will support you for the long term.

Naturopathic doctors address general healthcare needs for men, women and children which includes providing routine physical exams and performing routine blood work, as well as focusing on very complex health conditions. The naturopathic doctor’s toolbox is vast and may include such things as clinical and laboratory diagnostic testing, nutritional medicine, botanical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, detoxification protocols, manual therapies, mind-body medicine, and the list goes on. When needed, your naturopathic doctor can prescribe many pharmaceutical medications.

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Johanna Ryan, N.D., M.A. Photo provided.

For more information, reach out to your local naturopathic doctor or naturopathic medical practice. Many providers offer a free 15-minute or 20-minute consultation. This will allow you to ask specific questions you may have about naturopathic medicine.


  Written by Johanna Ryan, N.D., M.A., naturopathic physician, Return to Wellness Natural Medicine, in Bellows Falls, Vt. For more information, call 802-732-8428.

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