Alternative medicine is a general term that causes confusion from time to time. It’s related to treatment methods not commonly considered part of conventional Western medicine.
Two terms that are often associated are Naturopaths and Holistic Healthcare Practitioners. While similar, they are distinctly different approaches to healthcare.
Is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) the Same as a Holistic Practitioner?
The terms Naturopathic Doctor and Holistic Practitioner appear interchangeably in the literature. This makes it very easy to confuse the two when conducting your personal research.
Naturopaths are not, by definition, Holistic Practitioners. Yet, their practice of naturopathic medicine approach shares many similarities.
NDs focus on natural, non-invasive treatments for their patients. They work with their patients to find out what they need to heal and become healthy again.
NDs train in the use of natural remedies and treatments. They are not trained in the use of medicines and surgery.
Holistic Practitioners see themselves as teachers and guides. They work with patients to achieve optimal health through lifestyle changes. This includes diet, exercise, stress management techniques, meditation, and more.
Holistic Practitioners and NDs believe that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. Their goal is to remove the underlying cause of illness, not just its symptoms.
Why Do People See Naturopaths?
When you were a kid, a bowl of chicken soup was the remedy many mothers prescribed for various maladies. As we grew older, trips to the pharmacy became more and more common.
There is growing sentiment that popping pills for every ailment isn’t the best road to better health. This is where a naturopathic approach come in.
Naturopaths shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for conventional medicine. Rather, they offer an alternative treatment option. This is helpful for those who do not respond well to conventional treatments.
There are several specific benefits for those who seek out practitioners with Naturopathic Doctorates:
Naturopathy is concerned with disease prevention. It seeks to use treatments that work with, rather than against, the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
Naturopathy services can help with many common disorders. This includes heart health issues, hormonal imbalance, fertility and menopause, degraded immune systems, difficulty with digestion, stress relief, sleep disorders, preventative health strategies, and many more.
While a naturopath is interested in physical symptoms, they also look at the impact of lifestyle factors. Naturopaths lean on non-invasive and natural therapies to help the body heal itself.
What Are the 5 Aspects of Holistic Health?
There are five components to a holistic approach to health. These components form the basis of a truly healthy lifestyle.
Physical well-being includes the basics like eating healthy food and exercising. It includes maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding risky behaviors.
Emotional health is about managing your feelings in a healthy way. It’s about being able to cope with tough situations and knowing when it’s time to reach out for help.
Mental health is about managing stress levels, staying positive, and getting enough sleep.
Social well-being is about having a sense of belonging to something larger than yourself. It’s about feeling connected to others in your community. It involves making sure you have time for the people you care about.
Dedication to a religion is not required for spiritual wellness. Instead, it’s more concerned with how you connect with your inner soul and the larger world around you. It is about finding meaning and purpose in life and living by your values.
Solving the Either or Dilemma
Holistic practitioners and naturopaths have very different philosophies and goals.
Deciding which type of practitioner is right can be a little frustrating.
At Synergetics Health and Wellness that search is much simpler. My practice provides access to both. The umbrella of my healthcare practice is larger than that of a typical naturopath. While I am a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, my Holistic approach encompasses other modalities as well.
Contact me so I can answer your alternative health questions. Let’s begin your journey on a solid footing.