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What Is Naturopathic Medicine?

In this day and age, we encounter all types of modern medicine with naturopathy being among the many. In our newest podcast episode, I have a discussion with Dr. Negin Misaghi ND, a naturopathic doctor who practices in London, Ontario Canada to define the practice and discuss the benefits.

By definition, Naturopathy or Naturopathic Medicine is a medical term that uses natural remedies such as organic foods, herbs, massages, acupuncture, exercises and nutritional counseling in an effort to heal the body naturally. It was a practice that was introduced to the United States from Germany in the 1800's.

In my podcast episode with Dr. Negin, she explained that her motivation to follow this path occurred when she came down with the flu. By her account, she visited the family doctor and was told to drink plenty of fluids in addition to taking Tylenol. This became problematic because the recommendation didn't do anything to satisfy her needs. What attracted her to the practice of naturopathic medicine was the process in addition to "removing the obstacles in place so that the body can heal itself" as she described. Examples of those obstacles include prescription drugs administered by medical doctors. The practice has gained attention due to the fact that many people do not wish to be medicated by pharmaceutical drugs. For patients, it has provided an outlet for a natural way of healing.

What makes Naturopathy different from Western medicine is the approach to how patients are treated. As explained earlier by Dr. Negin's experience, a typical practice for flu-like symptoms is generally rest, fluids, and medication as prescribed by your doctor. She uses the example of having a headache and instead of recommending or prescribing drugs, tries to find the origin of what's causing the headache. She explains that there can be many causes of why a patient may be experiencing a headache with contributing factors such as dehydration and stress levels. A counter to these issues is proper hydration and coping mechanisms to deal with stress levels. She also gave an example of a patient she treated who had a chronic cough.

Dr. Negin's consultation includes examing bloodwork, lifestyle habits, and medical history in an effort to know how the patient is functioning and how healthy they are. With that information, she was able to determine that her patient also had acid reflux (a condition where the stomach acid gets backed up into the food pipe). So at that point, her goal wasn't just to address the cough but to bring overall health to the body. She accomplished this by dealing with the underlying issue (which in this case was the acid reflux) and was able to eliminate the chronic cough within three weeks, an ailment her patient was dealing with for three years. By her explanation, "the examination of the body as a whole" resulted in the successful treatment of this case.

How to Maintain A Healthy Immune System

I was curious to know how nutrition played a role in a healthy immune system from a naturopathic approach. Dr. Negin first informed me how our immune system works explaining, that some individuals may be "Immune Compromised" which as she described is "our immune system being a bit out of whack and not working as it should." To resolve this, we need to make sure that our bodies have healthy bacteria for our gut and optimal Vitamin D levels. She recommends going to your family doctor and getting your Vitamin D levels checked in addition to consuming foods containing Vitamin D, especially during the winter when we're most deficient. Also consuming foods with a probiotic base such as yogurts and teas which will aid in promoting a healthy gut. She also explained that stress and inadequate sleep contributes to immune deficiency and will not function as it should if deprived.

As health trends continue to rise and new data is introduced, it can become harder to filter through what's best for you. As a content creator, it is my role to introduce different alternatives as a source of information as it pertains to health and wellness. It is important that before you try any diet or new health routine you research and consult with the appropriate medical professionals as it pertains to your situation. You can listen to the full interview on the podcast section of our website in addition to all streaming platforms.

By: Jay Denson

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