Dr. Mark LaBeau - Naturopathic Medicine in San Diego, California
Treatments and Approaches
Naturopathy is a type of healthcare that blends modern treatment with traditional techniques. It includes alternative, natural therapies to modern medicine.
Naturopathy concentrates on:
- the body's capacity to heal itself
- avoiding health problems
- a personal responsibility to optimize health
Naturopathic treatment strategies focus on education and prevention. They typically emphasize diet, exercise, and stress management.
Naturopathic Medicine in San Diego
Naturopathy uses a series of principles and beliefs to create personal treatment plans. These principles and beliefs are:
- Self-healing: Identifying and removing barriers to recovery, enables natural healing.
- Underlying symptoms: Instead of stopping symptoms, a naturopathic doctor can address underlying physical or psychological problems by treating the body, mind, and spirit.
- Harmless treatment: Treatment strategies should not have damaging side effects or control symptoms negatively.
- Holistic treatment: A naturopathic doctor has to acknowledge individuality to treat all aspects of an individual's health successfully.
- Education in treatment: Naturopathic physicians teach self-care to help empower people against ill health.
- Prevention: It is good to remove toxic substances from a lifestyle to prevent problems from developing.
Seeing a Naturopathic Physician
Naturopathic doctors may hold different licenses. Not all states have the same licensing requirements, so it is advisable to look at the details of a naturopathic doctor before a consultation.
The three main types of naturopath are:
- Naturopathic doctor: A licensed naturopathic doctor must attend 4 years of naturopathic medical school to hold a recognized certification.
- Traditional naturopath: Traditional naturopaths may not hold a license, so they are not so commonly accepted.
- Other healthcare advisors: Other, contemporary healthcare professionals, such as dentists, might use naturopathic techniques in their treatment plans.
Techniques vary between naturopathic practitioners, but assessments usually abide by a similar overall practice.
The practitioner will usually start with a diagnosis. In this part of the process, they will address personal information, including lifestyle habits, stress levels, and diet.
A naturopathic doctor can use physical assessments, lab tests, medical imaging, and medical history examinations to identify an illness.
After diagnosis, they will develop methods to prevent and treat the illness by working with the natural healing systems within the body.
Naturopathic physicians design medical care strategies to suit individual needs and health problems. This means the treatment plans they offer can differ, but they all follow similar principles.
The majority of treatments involve food and nutrition. A naturopathic doctor will personalize recommendations for the individual.
A diet plan will generally use whole foods, for example, fruit, vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains.
The doctor may also give advice on maximizing nutritional value by consuming seasonal, local food. Some think food is better for the body when eaten raw, instead of cooked.
Treatments a naturopathic doctor might provide include:
- diet and nutrition recommendations
- behavioral change, such as exercise and lifestyle
- homeopathy, a kind of natural medicine
- hydrotherapy, which is water-based treatment
- manipulative therapy, for example, putting pressure on specific parts of the body to create balance
- herbal dietary supplements
A small 2020 study indicates that naturopathic treatment strategies are useful in controlling type 2 diabetes.
In some cases, with the proper license, naturopathic doctors can recommend prescription drugs, carry out minor surgeries, and give vaccinations.
Naturopathic treatments are normally not a person's primary source of healthcare. People often pursue naturopathic remedies when traditional or other complementary treatments are ineffective.
A 2019 review of studies found that methods that use naturopathy may be effective in:
- cardiovascular disease
- musculoskeletal pain
- type 2 diabetes
- polycystic ovary syndrome
- some other chronic conditions
Naturopathic Medicine in San Diego
An older 2007 review discovered evidence that the herbal medicines of devil's claw, white willow bark, and cayenne can relieve pain more effectively than placebo. However, the authors recognize that the reporting quality of the research studies in the review was poor.
There is anecdotal evidence to suggest naturopathic treatments such as acupuncture can cure chronic conditions, but again, this is not well supported scientifically.
A 2018 review discovered that naturopathic treatments helped control problems that follow operations. For example, acupuncture and acupressure can minimize symptoms of vomiting and nausea. Aromatherapy and music can also reduce pain, stress, and anxiety.
Naturopaths work on a more personal level, spending more time covering individual needs. They create treatment plans that consider all aspects of an individual.
Naturopathy can be helpful alongside modern medicine, and many say these methods allow the body to activate self-healing mechanisms.
Naturopathic healthcare can also be a less expensive alternative to conventional healthcare.