What is Naturopathic Medicine?

June 13, 2017

Take a look at the statements below. If you feel any of these apply to you, you might be interested in Naturopathic Medicine


1. I am suffering from chronic symptoms that no one seems to have any answers for.


2. I have a condition that is notoriously difficult to treat using pharmaceuticals alone (such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, IBS, inflammatory bowel disease, hormonal imbalance, type 2 diabetes, and many more.)


3. I am sick and tired of spending 20 minutes or less with my doctor only to be handed yet another prescription. I want to feel like I have more control over my health!


4. I have family history of health conditions like cardiovascular disease, endocrine disorders, or cancer and I want to take steps now to optimize prevention.


5. I am tired of trying to research diets, exercise plans, and supplements myself. I don't think "Dr. Google" is a reliable source of information!


6. I'm not interested in taking pills to mask symptoms. I would prefer to find and address the root cause!



When it comes to medicine, most people are familiar with words like "alternative, holistic, and complementary," but does "naturopathic" ring a bell? 


Breaking the word down into two components, "natural" and "pathic," we can describe this system of medicine as a "natural approach to disease," which implies the use of interventions other than pharmaceuticals, like diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, herbal medicine, and supplementation.


Given that conventional medicine is becoming more and more specialized, it's easy to assume that if you want to take a holistic approach, you either have to: A. Do your own research to the best of your ability and try different diets and supplements with the hope that something will "stick," or B. See a separate specialist for each intervention (a nutritionist for diet, a personal trainer for exercise, a counselor for stress management, etc.) Usually, people aren't aware that a third option exists, one that has training in all the lifestyle-based interventions as well as a 4 year medical education. This small but passionate group of professionals are called naturopathic doctors, or NDs.




Naturopathic doctors are extensively trained in the same basic sciences as a conventional MD or DO at one of 7 professional naturopathic medical schools in the United States and Canada. Our training diverges when it comes to treatment approaches. MDs and DOs receive valuable and indispensable training in the use of drugs and surgical interventions to address disease. NDs are taught a lifestyle-based approach to disease that is often complementary to our conventional counterparts, using individualized diet plans and high quality, clinically studied supplementation and herbal medicine. 


Arguably the most crucial difference between the naturopathic and standard conventional approach is the amount of time NDs take educating their clients about health. Because we use a lifestyle-based system of medicine, we emphasize that YOU are in the driver's seat. Understanding the "why" behind dietary changes, consistent exercise, sleep optimization, managing stress, and supplementation allows our clients to feel empowered and independent. We recognize that your success depends on our ability to discover the root cause or causes of your condition and make recommendations that are individualized, simple to follow, and well-explained. 


If you'd like to learn more about naturopathic medicine, please explore the rest of this website, such as the FAQs and blog, and click the links below.


ANW Blog


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The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

The Illinois Association of Naturopathic Physicians


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Yours in Health,

Dr. Trish

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