Naturopathy—much like most alternative treatment modalities—is a holistic therapy with the potential to improve or resolve a variety of health concerns. While symptom relief is certainly crucial, naturopathic treatment plans are geared toward improving overall wellness. But more specifically, naturopathy can be very helpful in addressing common conditions we encounter often in our daily lives.
The key to naturopathy is in supporting the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Therefore, in a sense, naturopathic treatment is simply a way to get the body to function—and heal—as it should.
Read on to find out how naturopathy can help you manage or treat any pre-existing health conditions and help you lead a healthier lifestyle.
Although naturopathy is a holistic treatment—meaning it can help improve a near-infinite list of health conditions—here are 5 of the most common problems that naturopathy can help you address.
Seasonal allergies—also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever—are not always tied to a specific season. In fact, it’s fairly common for sufferers to experience hay fever symptoms all year round.
When the body is exposed to certain substances outdoors, it may mistakenly identify some of them—most commonly pollen—as harmful, causing the immune system to overreact. It’s this reaction that produces symptoms including sneezing, coughing, and itchiness.
One study links omega-3 fatty acids supplementation with allergy symptom relief. Inhaled allergens like pollen typically trigger an inflammatory response in the body, contributing to your overall discomfort. Plant oils, fish, nuts and seeds are all excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids and may actually prevent children from developing allergies.
Sleep disorders aren’t just about struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep. If you feel tired in the mornings—especially following what should have been a long, restful sleep—then you may be suffering from a sleeping disorder.
Valerian, a common herb, is a known sedative and is making a name for itself as a sleep aid. A recent clinical trial confirmed its efficacy in participants suffering from insomnia with no serious adverse reactions reported.
That said, supplementation isn’t the only treatment that a naturopathic doctor (ND) can prescribe. Practices that reduce stress and anxiety, such as aromatherapy, have been proven to promote sleep.
While weight-related concerns tend to boil down to one simple equation—calories in versus calories out—NDs recognize that body composition isn’t so straightforward. Genetic, hormonal, and even mental health factors can all influence your ability to lose, gain or maintain weight.
It follows that addressing any underlying health conditions—be it through naturopathic treatment or referral—and boosting your metabolism will help you achieve the results you are looking for.
For example, an ND may develop a treatment plan designed to help balance your blood glucose levels or build muscle mass. This generally falls in line with naturopathy’s focus on holistic wellness.
Chronic or recurring abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating and altered bowel movements are all symptoms of digestive disorders. Some common over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs such as iron supplements and antibiotics can also upset your natural balance.
According to one study, naturopathic individualized care for those suffering from gastrointestinal distress or conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have been proven effective.
In particular, a combination of herbs and digestive enzymes proved more effective at relieving IBS symptoms than many commercial formulas for IBS treatment. Consider approaching a naturopathic practitioner for a treatment plan tailored to you.
You would be hard-pressed to find someone without a skin concern. The skin is an organ like any other, and your nutrition can affect its functioning. Be it acne, dryness, or discoloration, diet and supplementation are usually the key to improving common skin concerns.
Although topicals certainly feature in many treatment plans, naturopathic approaches to skin concerns tend to focus on nutrition. For example, eliminating dairy and trans fats, which are acne triggers.
There’s certainly no closed list of health issues that a naturopathic doctor can help you with. Even if you are already on conventional treatment, naturopathy can help support your body’s natural healing process.
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