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I am Dr. Marie-Sabine Thomas, a trained Naturopathic Physician and a fellow at Bastyr University Research Institute.

The purpose of this blog is to educate people so that they can make informed decisions about their health. I answer burning questions about natural medicine and discuss research findings that can better support wellness. I invite you to join the discussion!

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Naturopathic Medicine – Does It Really Work?
Posted on April 23rd, 2011 by Webmaster

Stethoscope and AppleNaturopathic Medicine promotes working with the body and it’s ability to heal.  A naturopathic doctor (ND’s) have a similar level of education to a ‘regular’ MD, except they don’t have such a high reliance on using man made drugs and they are more interested in preventing illness rather than just treating it.

ND’s encourage using methods like herbal medications,  acupuncture, massages, meditation, aromatherapy, to name just a few, in order to achieve and maintain good health.  They encourage their patients to take a pro-active stance on their own health care and to make better lifestyle choices.

This approach to medicine encourages the prevention of disease by more of a mind body balance, rather than the ‘closing the barn door after the horse got out’  approach that is more typical of western modern medicine and only  relieves the symptoms after an illness has presented itself.

Patients are encouraged to make permanent lifestyle changes to help them live longer, and healthier lives.  They are also encouraged to ‘get in touch’ with their body and pay attention to any signs that something is wrong, such as pain.

Many of these early signs wouldn’t show up in the lab tests routinely performed by doctors,  and without this confirmation your doctor will often send you on your way telling you that there is nothing wrong.  This approach all too often leads to the worsening of a problem that could have been easily corrected if it had been treated early.  ND’s will look at your complaints and try to find what aspect of your body is out of balance to help you get relief more quickly so  the ailment doesn’t get worse.

Of course many of use have some familiarity with the practices that will help us stay healthy.  Below is a list of some of the easy things you can do daily, starting today, that will help prevent illness:

1) Eat better.  Avoid too much sugar and fat.  Stay away from soda and fried foods.  I know you’ve heard this before and I know most of us like our junk food, so if you don’t think you’re ready to cut it out completely just cut way back on it.  That is a good place to start.  When hungry for something sweet grab a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar.

Remember, you don’t have to be perfect, even small changes can pay off big with better health.

2) Get enough sleep.  How much will depend on what your body needs.  Most healthy adults will need around 8 hours a night, but that’s not written in stone.  Find out what your body needs and then make sure you get that much.

There is nothing on late night t.v. that is so important you can’t miss it.  Your health is far more important, turn off the t.v. and get enough sleep.

3) Try to have some fun and unwind every single day, if only for a few minutes.  I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, our modern world is stressful.  It’s vital for our physical and mental health that we de-stress.  Something as simple as a little time playing with your kids or laughing with a friend can do wonders for not only your disposition but your health as well.

If you are interested in taking a more hands on approach to your health and keeping illness at bay rather than just treating the symptoms, you should consider learning more about naturopathic medicine.  This can be a very important first step in having  a longer, healthier, and more fulfilling life and it’s an easy step to take.

 

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