Naturopathic medicine is a distinct practice of medicine that emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process to treat each person holistically and improve outcomes while lowering health care costs.
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are educated and trained in accredited naturopathic medical colleges. They diagnose, prevent and treat acute and chronic illness, restore and establish optimal health by supporting the person's inherent self-healing process. Rather than just suppressing symptoms, NDs work to identify underlying causes of illness, and develop personalized treatment plans to...Read more
Accredited naturopathic medical schools are four-year, in-residence, hands-on medical programs consisting of a minimum of 4,100 hours of class and clinical training. During naturopathic medical school, students are educated in the biomedical sciences as well as the latest advances in science in combination with natural approaches to therapy. They also study disease prevention and clinical techniques.
In addition to a standard medical curriculum, schools require their graduates to complete four years of training in...Read more
Pomegranate seeds have been used traditionally in Mediterranean countries and in ancient Ayurveda for a variety of disorders including infertility, insufficient breast milk, hypermenorrhea, and genital pain. Pomegranate seed oil (PSO) mainly contains unsaturated fatty acids such as γ-linoleic acid (Gamma linolenic acid, or GLA) and linolenic acid and phytoestrogens (campesterol, stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol). These phytoestrogens have led some to assert that it could be an effective option for menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, sleep problems, libido and mood. A 2012...Read more
Why is it that so many patients are looking for alternative and complementary medicines and treatments?
Should more studies be conducted on alternative or complementary treatments, or is it a waste of money and time?
Does integrative medicine belong in academic medical centers—should it be taught at all?
These are among the questions that I discussed last month as a panelist on a Medscape Facebook Live event—Both Sides Now with medical ethicist Dr. Art Caplan. The theme: “Alternative Medicine: Should Physicians Embrace or Reject It?” You...
Part I presented compelling data on both the efficacy and the economic savings of naturopathic approaches to reducing cardiovascular risk and chronic back pain. Two more studies are discussed below, followed by data on patient behavior, which indicates significant cost savings for those who seek naturopathic care.
The two other studies did not have companion economic analyses, but they did show significant health improvements. Adjunctive naturopathic care for...Read more
Naturopathic doctors may at times receive this question from their patients. It is nice to know that there is an evidence-based response that says “Yes!”
Rising health care costs have been a fact for some time. Evidence is now emerging that adding or enhancing adjunctive care services can serve to reduce overall costs. Much of the evidence relates to treating chronic conditions that can be major cost drivers within health care. This article highlights the findings from four randomized clinical trials conducted in partnership with a major Canadian corporation and a major union, and...Read more
A steadily growing percentage of the population is choosing to focus on prevention, wellness and natural approaches to managing illness by seeking out practitioners of complementary and integrative medicine. As such, many are seeking the advice of naturopathic doctors to guide this process in a safe and effective way.
Despite the popularity of natural medicine, there is a lot of confusion around what naturopathic medicine is and how naturopathic doctors practice. Below we will address some common myths and misunderstandings about naturopathic medicine.
Myth #1: I can get an...Read more
Here are some examples of headlines generated by a recent paper about alternative medicine. The headlines are quite imposing, and in some cases plainly misleading:
- “Cancer patients who turn to Alternative Medicine are 2.5 times more likely to die”
- “Alternative Medicine alone as a cancer treatment linked to lower survival.
- “You are more than twice as likely to die from your cancer if you choose alternative medicine. If you have breast or colorectal cancer, you’re more than five times as likely to die.”
- “Cancer is way more likely to kill you if you...
I am a generalist; there, I admit it. In a world of increasing specialization one gets the distinct feeling that “generalist” has become a rather dirty word. Almost 30 years ago, when I was studying osteopathic and naturopathic medicine, specialization within these fields did not exist or were in the very beginning stages. Of course, today that’s not the case.
Although my emphasis is in naturopathic and osteopathic medicine, my practice is very general, which is the way I like it. Every day is different. I may be working with someone suffering acute back pain in one appointment,...Read more