What is naturopathy, and what does an ND do? Well it’s not a white coat and stethoscope wearing, strip you naked, send you for tests and charge you your entire paycheck physician. A naturopathic doctor is actually a teacher, helping a client (not a patient) to take responsibility for his own health, using naturally occurring substances and methods to encourage the body’s inherent ability to heal itself.
A naturopathic doctor doesn’t diagnose specific diseases. There are no needles or invasive procedures. The goal of naturopathy is to recognize weaknesses and imbalances in the body, remove barriers to good health and tailor therapies to restore health and encourage optimal wellness.
Every person is unique, and “one size fits all” approaches are insufficient. Traditional healing approaches are time-honored and, combined with modern science, facilitate healing of the entire system of mind, body and spirit. Essential oils are all the rage right now, for good reason. They are powerful, but can be too much for some people. Homeopathy is better suited for toddlers and sensitive people, or those who might not be able to swallow pills. Nutrition and fitness are important for everyone, but may look different for each person. Some people respond better to cups of herbal tea at intervals through their day to break stress patterns and refocus their mind and body on healing; others may need specific supplements, a fitness plan and an accountability partner. What matters is what’s appropriate for YOU.
The vast majority of illness is not genetic; it is not your parents’ fault that you are sick. Too often, though, the family tendency toward a particular weakness can be traced to Grandma’s recipe box. We are all creatures of habit and tradition, and comfort foods can literally be the death of us if not well chosen. But as anyone who’s attempted a strict diet can attest, stress cannot be underestimated. Stress is often a problem in itself, causing a cascade of chemical issues in the body. All these factors can be addressed, and what you thought was just normal aging can often be reversed.
The best method of care is what you believe in. I’ve seen allergies cured by chiropractic and physical injuries healed with homeopathy. The trauma physician, nutritionist and pastor have their own important roles to play in health. The naturopath is a generalist, trained in methods of drugless healing.
Over the years, I have come to recognize certain intangible qualities that I invariably see in my successful cancer patients. These include an enormous capacity for faith, a quality of trust, fearlessness even in the face of death, and gratitude. I believe I have seen these four qualities in every single patient I have treated who did well. – Nicholas J. Gonzalez, MD