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      What Is a Naturopath?

      Naturopathic Medicine Seattle WA

      If you are familiar with the umbrella term “alternative medicine,” you may be wondering what exactly naturopathic medicine is and what naturopaths do.

      Naturopathic medicine treats the individual using a combination of modern scientific practices and nature. Because each human being is unique and complex, naturopathic physicians do not follow a single path. Rather, we rely on a wide variety of noninvasive techniques and therapies which include healing techniques from both Eastern and Western traditions.

      At the heart of naturopathic treatment is a holistic perspective focused on prevention, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment to restore and maintain patients’ optimal health. Naturopathic physicians have faith in the body’s ability to heal itself and encourage this gift by helping patients to form healthful internal and external environments.

      Naturopathic Principles

      Traditional naturopaths abide by the following tenets, which guide our practices and help us to maintain a unified integrity of service to all who come to us in need.

      1. Nature’s healing power: The body’s natural healing power, mirrored in the natural world, is the basis for all healing. Naturopaths facilitate healing and the warding off of disease by creating a physical environment and internal landscape that allows the patient to find health and well being.
      2. Treating the whole person: Naturopathic physicians see disease differently than other practitioners. They believe that mental, physical, and spiritual factors affect the body’s ability to care for itself. Developing a naturopathic treatment plan involves the consideration of all of these factors. Restoring and sustaining health are a naturopath’s primary concerns, rather than simply removing illness.
      3. Do no harm: While it sounds simple enough, this tenet is essential to the work of any healthcare practitioner. While this promise is included in the Hippocratic Oath taken by all physicians, naturopaths focus on gently and noninvasively healing patients without turning to prescription drugs first.
      4. Seek – and treat – the cause: Naturopathic physicians focus on discovering the underlying causes of illnesses, which are often difficult to identify. Extensive in-office interviews, as well as non-invasive medical testing, help our physicians identify and work to remove the cause of issues, whether they are vitamin deficiencies, hormonal shifts, or traumatic emotions.
      5. “Physician as teacher” role: Naturopaths seek above all to evolve as teachers, assisting patients in taking responsibility for their own bodies and health. Their mentoring may involve suggesting nutritional, emotional, dietary or other lifestyle changes that best serve their clients.

      Why seek a naturopath?

      There are just as many reasons to seek naturopathic treatment as there are individuals needing gentle, nature-based medicine that works for, not against, the body. Common reasons that individuals seek naturopathic care, however, include:

      • A desire to improve their health, naturally.
      • Any chronic condition that has not responded to conventional techniques, including asthma, muscle pain, allergies, arthritis, and stress-and-diet-related problems, including digestive issues, insomnia, skin disorders, and fatigue.
      • Common colds, flu, bronchitis.
      • Menstrual problems.
      • Hormone issues for both men and women, particularly menopause and andropause.

      For the best possible natural healthcare, consider booking a session with a naturopathic physician. To ensure quality, seek out licensed practitioners who have undergone a four-year, postgraduate medical program, such as our skilled, empathetic team at Water’s Edge Natural Medicine.

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