Naturopathy is a form of healthcare. It is based on the belief that nature itself makes effective medicines. By adding natural treatments into your healthcare, your body may be better able to heal itself. A naturopath is a healthcare provider who practices naturopathy. He or she can talk with you to see if naturopathy is right for you.

Image of vitamins, suppliments and fresh herbs and spices.

Finding what heals the body

The following is true about naturopathy:

  • It is centered on the idea that healing forces exist in nature. These forces may come in the form of healthy foods, herbal medicines, natural substances, and physical touch.

  • It is focused on the whole person. Care often begins with the naturopath asking you to reveal details that may affect your health. Topics can include:

    • Your personal life and work life

    • Your beliefs and attitudes

    • Your diet, exercise routine, and other lifestyle issues

  • It is focused on illness prevention. With this in mind, the naturopath may advise you on ways to improve diet and reduce stress. He or she may also help you quit certain habits, such as smoking.

  • It attempts to treat the cause of a problem and not just symptoms.

Choices in naturopathy

Naturopathy often involves other forms of healthcare. These may include:

  • Herbal therapy

  • Homeopathy

  • Physical and massage therapy

  • Stress management

  • Nutritional and lifestyle counseling

  • Natural childbirth

Questions for the naturopath

Before you decide whether to have treatment, talk with the naturopath. Asking him or her some of these questions may help you make an informed choice:

  • What kind of training do you have? How long have you been practicing?

  • Will naturopathy help improve my health?

  • Have you treated a health problem like mine before?

  • Will you work with my medical doctor?

  • What will a typical visit be like?

  • How long will treatment take?

  • How much will treatment cost?


To learn more about naturopathy, these resources may help:

  • American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine


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