Naturopathy: Alternative Healthcare Provider

An alternative healthcare provider can offer a variety of practices that offer individuals a choice between traditional medicine and the field of naturopathy.

The study of naturopathy, or alternative health medicine, is based on the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself. Much of the practice of naturopathic alternative health medicine is centered around proper nutrition with a focus on organic foods, exercise, and sticking to a generally healthy lifestyle.

The practice of naturopathic alternative health medicine is often used in conjunction with Western medicine, or allopathic, techniques. Using naturopathic medicine along with allopathic medicine is often called complementary medicine.

A number of complementary alternative health medicine techniques have already become popular in Western countries, including the practices of Ayurveda (an Indian holistic approach to health), Chinese medicine, yoga, and the use of herbal supplements. The practice of naturopathic alternative health medicine is licensed in the United States, and naturopathic physicians are required to study graduate-level medical courses specializing in naturopathic approaches in addition to the regular basic sciences courses required in allopathic medical schools.

These naturopathic alternative health medicine professionals become experts on herbal medicines, homeopathic potentiated dilutions, acupuncture, and more.

Most naturopathic physicians do not normally perform surgery or prescribe pharmaceutical medicines, and often stick to treating earaches, headaches, allergies, and other minor illnesses.

Naturopathic alternative health medicine providers often work with allopathic or osteopathic practitioners, and therefore often refer patients to specialists when the illnesses they are monitoring is beyond their realm of treatment. Naturopathic physicians are often consulted when patients want to focus on preventative medicine by finding the cause of his or her illness instead of just alleviating the symptoms of the disease.

Naturopathic medicine is practiced by alternative healthcare providers who want to create a greater sense of well-being through preventative measures and treatment of ailments.

Those interested in finding a practicing naturopathic physician should consult the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), the only recognized accrediting organization of naturopathic colleges in the United States.