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Naturopathic Medicine vs. Conventional Medicine: A Natural Path to Wellness

Naturopathic Medicine vs. Conventional Medicine: A Natural Path to Wellness

When you have a leaky pipe in the basement, you have two concerns: find the source of the leak and repair the line.

You must do more than treat symptoms when you have a health issue. You need to find the reason behind the symptoms and fix them. This whole-body approach is an advantage when choosing naturopathic medicine vs. conventional medicine.

Conventional medicine treats each patient with the same exams, tests, and treatments used for everyone else with the same diagnosis. Your medical visits are often limited to fifteen minutes. You may leave the office with a prescription but not the answers to your questions.

In comparison, however, naturopathic medicine is a whole-body approach to well-being. It relies on listening, discovering, teaching, and finding individualized solutions that help you heal—both now and in the future.

Naturopaths Listen

The average conventional office exam lasts 18 minutes. During that time, most doctors have made assumptions about you and your health concerns formed with stereotypes based on your race, age, and gender before you tell them why you’re there.

Frequently affecting marginalized groups and women, medical gaslighting refers to doctors who dismiss their patient’s health concerns.

Some signs that your traditional doctor is gaslighting you include:

  • Diagnosing a physical concern as a mental health condition

  • Trivializing your symptoms

  • Questioning the legitimacy of your prior medical history, including diagnosis and medications

  • Rushing through your exam

  • Not taking notes or documenting your concerns

  • Being detached from the conversation

Unsurprisingly, medical gaslighting plays a significant role in patients' decisions to skip doctor visits and actively downplay their symptoms and concerns during the exams.

Understanding Your Health: Naturopathic Medicine vs. Conventional Medicine

Many patients say they don’t feel heard by their doctors, and with good reason. In a 2018 study, researchers found that conventional doctors listened to their patients for 11 seconds before interrupting them.

Unlike rushed conventional medicine office visits, naturopathic visits last an hour or more. During this time, your naturopath takes a comprehensive look at your medical history, health concerns, and overall health and well-being. Naturopaths understand and share the frustration faced by patients who feel they have no control over their health.

You’re not alone if you’ve left your doctor’s office with more questions than answers. Naturopaths, however, take the time to explain your customized wellness program and the reasons behind it to you to boost your success in implementing the plan.

Naturopathic Medicine’s Discovery Process

Your naturopath understands that your health journey is different from anyone else’s. Your wellness path involves unlocking your body’s ability to heal itself. Naturopaths don’t treat diseases; they heal the entire patient.

Pillars of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopaths take a science-based holistic view of each patient’s medical needs based on many solid principles.

1. First, Do No Harm: A naturopathic approach seeks healing with non-invasive, natural treatments, frequently reducing or eliminating the need for harmful prescriptions or surgeries.

2. The Healing Power of Nature: For naturopaths, medicine incorporates using all-natural substances and encouraging a healthy environment. The human body can heal itself when given natural tools and support. A fundamental principle of naturopathic medicine is returning balance to the body to allow the self-regulation required for healing.

3. Identify and Treat the Causes: Holistic medicine uses all available resources to uncover the source of a condition, including lab tests and research. Modern scientific findings and theories back every diagnosis and treatment. These discoveries help naturopaths find the underlying reasons behind many common health concerns, such as stress and anxiety, inflammatory conditions, insomnia, and fatigue.

4. Doctor as Teacher: One of the most significant differences in naturopathic vs. conventional medicine is that patients feel they are a part of their own health decisions. A naturopath ensures that each patient receives the tools and information they need to stay healthy.

5. Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic medicine understands that each body is an interconnected series of systems and that an imbalance in just one system can affect the rest.

6. Prevention: Naturopaths don’t just seek ways to treat specific conditions; they seek ways to prevent them from happening in the first place. Natural preventive medicine means a healthier body now and in the future.

When Prescriptions Do More Harm Than Good

Prescription medications are the first choice in conventional medicine, but naturopaths understand cures don’t come in bottles of chemicals. Prescriptions are short-term solutions that don’t address the root causes of a condition. Once the patient stops taking the prescription medication, the symptoms return. Often the condition gets worse over time despite the medication. For naturopathic physicians and their patients, this isn’t an answer.

Prescriptions treat symptoms of a condition, not the root imbalances causing the symptoms. Anti-inflammatories, for instance, may reduce pain and swelling, but they do not treat the underlying cause. It's like a bandaid over the check engine light in your car - it's only a short-term fix. In many cases these prescriptions cause harm or side effects too.

Natural remedies, such as plant-based medicine, supplements, and lifestyle changes, are the critical components of a naturopathic wellness plan. This approach is what sets naturopathic medicine apart from conventional medicine.

In naturopathic medicine, providers understand that the body has a remarkable capacity to achieve wellness naturally. Naturopaths provide long-term solutions that enable you to regain control of your health and restore your well-being safely and without invasive, unnecessary, and potentially harmful prescription medicines. Your body will heal naturally with naturopathic medicine versus conventional medicine that relies on drugs to mask problems.

Achieving Your Health Goals with Naturopathic Medicine vs. Conventional Medicine

Naturopathic medicine provides long-term health and well-being solutions for every stage of your health journey. Whether you’re looking to address a specific medical concern or seeking ways to take a proactive approach to good health, it’s never too early or too late to turn to naturopathic medicine instead of conventional medicine in Washington State.

Dr. Camille Koontz and her experienced team provide complete and individualized programs to help you regain your health and reclaim your life. Contact Resilience Health and Wellness at (360)922-8692 or by visiting and take the first step to a healthy you.

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