1. An integrative approach. Their training gives naturopathic doctors (NDs) a broad understanding of preventive care, conventional treatments, and holistic alternatives. It may be your primary healthcare source or combined with conventional medicine.
2. Patients are seen and heard. A naturopathic physician takes the time to listen and connect. Visits can sometimes last longer than an hour. You may discuss symptoms and your health history as well as your diet, lifestyle, sources of stress, and environmental toxins.
3. Attention to body, mind, and spirit. A person (not a disease) is the focus of care. Instead of attacking symptoms, naturopathy considers underlying causes.
4. An array of natural therapies. NDs employ a wide number of strategies, including dietary and lifestyle counseling, herbs, vitamins and other supplements, physical therapies, and homeopathic medicine.
5. The learning opportunity. “A physician should act as a teacher,” says naturopath and author Tori Hudson, ND. Naturopathic doctors encourage taking personal responsibility for health.
6. Health comes naturally. This holistic medical system acknowledges the body’s inherent ability to heal itself, once the groundwork for health and wellness is established.
7. Prevention is the best medicine. It’s one of the tenets of the naturopathic medical philosophy.
8. You may leave with a prescription—for a massage. In addition to receiving an individualized health plan, you could be referred to integrative practitioners such as acupuncturists or massage therapists.