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Naturopathy, also known as natural medicine, is a holistic system of medicine based on the belief that the body is capable of healing itself.

Naturopathic doctors try to find the cause of disease by understanding the patient as a totality of body, mind, and spirit. They then use a range of different interventions, depending on the needs of the indiviudal patient.

Naturopathy includes a wide range of other interventions including: acupuncture, detoxification, diet and nutrition, herbal medicines (botanicals), homeopathy, hydrotherapies, lifestyle counseling, spiritual therapies, touch therapies.

Please Note

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

'Although some of the individual therapies used in naturopathy have been studied for efficacy and safety, naturopathy as a general approach to health care has not been widely researched.

  • 'Natural' does not necessarily mean 'safe'. Some therapies used in naturopathy, such as herbal supplements and restrictive or unconventional diets, have the potential to be harmful if not used under the direction of a well-trained practitioner.
  • Some beliefs and approaches of naturopathic practitioners are not consistent with conventional medicine, and their safety may not be supported by scientific evidence. For example, some practitioners may not recommend childhood vaccinations. The benefits of vaccination in preventing illness and death have been repeatedly proven and greatly outweigh the risks.
  • Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.'

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The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.