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What is Naturopathic Treatment?

What is Naturopathic Treatment?

What is Naturopathic Treatment?

Naturopathic treatment is a system of medicine that uses natural remedies for healing the body. It utilizes many therapies like herbs, massage, acupuncture, exercise, and nutrition.

Naturopathy was first brought to the United States from Germany during the 1800s, but its treatments can be centuries old. Currently, naturopathic treatment combines aspects of modern science.

This article will discuss naturopathic treatment and who can benefit from it.

What is The Naturopathic Doctors’ Oath?

There are six principles of Naturopathic Medicine. These include: 

First Do No Harm

Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) will use the most natural, least invasive, and least toxic therapies to treat conditions. They will also refer patients when they need something out of the ND’s skill level or expertise. 

The Healing Power of Nature

NDs know that our natural world is significant in assisting in the healing process. In addition, they will incorporate a healthy natural environment as a foundation for human health. 

Identify and Treat the Causes

Most naturopathic patients will benefit from determining the underlying causes of their mental health or physical conditions. 

Doctor as Teacher

NDs want to educate their patients and encourage health literacy. In other words, NDs are part of the team that helps patients better understand what it takes to have optimal well-being. Via education and a trust-based relationship, patients can have the tools to understand better what they need to do to improve their health. 

Treat the Whole Person

Naturopathic doctors know that patients will achieve balance and health only through a whole-person approach.


Naturopathic treatment aims to prevent illness and suffering. NDs use all six principles to identify any areas of imbalance and educate patients on how to get better and stay well.

What Do Naturopathic Practitioners Do?

Naturopathic practitioners can use a variety of treatment options. Here are some examples:  

  • Nutrition, dietary, and lifestyle changes
  • Stress reduction techniques 
  • Herbs and other nutritional supplements
  • Homeopathy
  • Manipulative therapies
  • Exercise suggestions
  • Practitioner-guided detoxification
  • Mental health counseling

In addition, some practitioners use other methods appropriate to patient care, like IV therapies. Some may also refer patients to conventional healthcare providers. 

Some More Information About Naturopathic Therapies

Naturopathic doctors can be trained in the following treatments: 

Clinical Nutrition

Clinical nutrition studies the relationship between nutrition and health. Special diets, food elimination, variations in dietary habits, or nutritional supplements may be recommended during this type of treatment.

Botanical Medicine

Botanical medicine uses plants to help people heal. This type of healing traces back to the beginning of civilization and is how modern pharmacology was founded. Herbs can be used in many forms, like teas, tinctures, or capsules, and may be recommended for naturopathic treatment. 

Homeopathic Medicine

Homeopathic remedies are tiny dilutions of plant, animal, and mineral substances that stimulate the body’s “vital force” and strengthen its healing ability.

Traditional Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture is based on balancing the flow of chi (energy) through meridian pathways located under the skin. Herbs and acupuncture will regulate and release chi to bring the body back into balance.

Physical Medicine

Physical medicine includes:

  • Soft tissue work (aka, therapeutic massage)
  • Naturopathic manipulation of muscle, bone, or the spine
  • Hydrotherapy methods
  • Gentle electrical impulses, ultrasound, diathermy
  • Exercise

Prevention and Lifestyle Counselling

Naturopathic doctors work to address a patient’s issues but also to prevent these issues from reoccurring. 

Some naturopathic doctors may have additional training in other natural therapies, like:

  • Prescriptions 
  • IV therapies
  • Chelation therapy
  • Minor surgery
  • Colon therapy

Why It Naturopathic Treatment Used?

Some people opt for naturopathic medicine because it promotes excellent health. They may find benefits from having better nutrition, healthy activities, and plant-based medicines as a way to enhance health.

How Does It Work?

Naturopathic medicine aims to treat the entire person via mind, body, and spirit. It also strives to heal the root causes of an illness, not solely reduce the symptoms.

A naturopathic doctor can spend a few hours discussing your health history during your initial assessment. They’ll also ask you questions about your stress levels and lifestyle habits. In addition, they may order lab tests if necessary. 

Afterward, they will consult with you about a personal health plan. They may provide you with nutrition, exercise, or stress management tips. In addition, they may use medicines alongside your treatment, like homeopathy, herbal medicine, and acupuncture. They may utilize touch, like massage, to restore balance in your body. 

What Education and Licensure Do Naturopathic Practitioners Have? 

There are three types of naturopathic practitioners, each requiring different education levels. Here is more info: 

  • Naturopathic physicians will complete a 4-year, graduate-level program at a North American naturopathic medical school accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. In jurisdictions requiring licensing, naturopathic physicians must graduate from a 4-year naturopathic medical college and pass an examination. In addition, they must have completed the required annual continuing education requirements.
  • Traditional naturopaths can receive training in many different ways. These programs vary in length and content and are not accredited. In other words, traditional naturopaths are usually not eligible for licensing.
  • Other healthcare providers (like physicians, chiropractors, dentists, nurses, and more) – these professionals will sometimes offer naturopathic therapy, functional medicine, and other holistic treatments, with additional training in these areas. Their training programs vary.

It is essential to keep in mind that regulations, licenses, or certificates do not guarantee a safe and effective treatment plan from any healthcare provider. You can learn more on the NCCIH fact sheet Credentialing, Licensing, and Education.


Naturopathic treatment can be an effective way to optimize your health naturally. These providers specialize in various treatments that can help you start to feel better, whether it’s mentally or physically. In addition, their treatments can help improve the symptoms of various medical and mental health conditions.

At LGBTQ and ALL, we have a list of various types of practitioners on our database qualified to work with you to treat mental and physical health. Be sure to navigate our list to find a naturopathic care provider today

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