If you have ever shown interest in alternative medicine, you have probably heard about naturopathic medicine. This holistic approach to health and wellness is one that has been both praised and criticized, often surrounded by many myths. Here, we are going to debunk some of these myths, providing you with accurate information about naturopathic medicine. All information provided here is courtesy of Dr. Jen Overbeck, a renowned expert in the field of naturopathic medicine.
Myth 1: Naturopathic medicine is not scientific or evidenced based.
Contrary to popular belief, naturopathic medicine is firmly rooted in science. Licensed naturopathic doctors complete a rigorous four-year program at accredited institutions. A minimum of two years is spent on biomedical sciences, the same area of study that prepares medical students to become doctors. These professionals focus on evidence-based patient care, placing them at the forefront of research in natural medicine.
Myth 2: Naturopathic doctors are anti-drug/anti-pharmaceuticals.
This is another myth that is far from the truth. Naturopathic doctors are not against prescription drugs. They study pharmaceuticals extensively, understanding their effects and interactions with supplements and herbs. Naturopathic doctors focus on individualized care, collaborating with the healthcare team. They may include prescription medications when necessary for a patient’s well-being.
Myth 3: You can’t use both naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine.
Again, this is a complete fallacy. Naturopathic physicians work alongside conventional doctors in healthcare, research, and academics. They blend conventional and integrative medicine, a skill set that is increasingly in demand. Studies have demonstrated that adding naturopathic care to conventional treatment leads to better overall patient health. One such study by Dugald Seely, ND, showed that patients at risk for heart attacks and strokes who received naturopathic care alongside conventional treatment had a significantly lower risk of fatal heart attacks or strokes compared to those receiving only conventional care.
Myth 4: Naturopathic doctors are not trained as primary care doctors.
Once again, this is a false claim. Licensed naturopathic doctors provide primary care across North America, dealing with a wide range of outpatient health issues. They’re trained to address family health, catering to both children and seniors. They also manage both short-term illnesses and long-term discomfort.
Myth 5: If it’s natural, it’s safe.
While it is tempting to believe that all natural remedies are safe, this is not the case. Natural doesn’t always mean safe. Natural remedies can have side effects and restrictions. Always consult a licensed naturopathic doctor to make sure what you’re using is right and safe for you.
After debunking these common myths, it becomes clear that naturopathic medicine is a scientific, collaborative, and versatile field. It harmoniously combines with conventional medicine, and naturopathic doctors are fully equipped to provide primary care. Yet, like all forms of medicine, it should be practiced responsibly.