Holistic vs. Naturopathic: What’s the Difference?

For those interested in alternative treatments to traditional medicine, the terminology can be confusing. Holistic healing, naturopathic medicine, alternative medicine—what do they mean? How are they different? Which one is right for me? Here is a brief rundown of some of the choices and what they’re all about. For purposes of comparison, conventional/traditional medicine refers to the treatment of a specific disease with medication and/or surgery.

What Is Holistic Medicine?

Holistic medicine is an approach that involves the entire person, i.e., the body, the mind, the emotions, and the spirit as a whole, rather than focusing on a specific disease or merely alleviating symptoms. Its practitioners seek to find the root cause of any existing problems.

A holistic practitioner may use conventional treatments such as medications and surgery, but they will also engage the patient to help them unlock the body’s natural healing capabilities. This approach also believes that unconditional love and support is the most powerful healing agent that we have. Treatments often involve patient education and lifestyle modifications such as diet and meditation practices.

Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic doctors utilize a variety of different, often holistic treatments. The difference between the two is that the naturopathic doctor eschews the use of conventional medications and surgery. Instead, they prefer to use natural remedies, massage, exercise, etc., in order to stimulate healing. Naturopathic medicine is a holistic approach in that it seeks to treat the whole person rather than any specific part, so it is essentially a subset of holistic medicine.

Naturopathic doctors spend a great deal of time getting to know their patients so that they can assist them with healing. It is not unusual for a naturopath to spend several hours in consultation with a patient, going over how their natural remedies work.

Other Alternative Practices

Other alternative practices to traditional medicine include chiropractic medicine, acupressure, and acupuncture. If you feel like your energy is off, you can also try reiki healing, which is a “laying on of hands” energy healing and can be done both in person and from afar (as a form of prayer). Always make sure to research any therapies thoroughly prior to beginning treatment to see which options are best for you. All of these can be applied either holistically (treatment of the whole body) or more traditionally (alleviation of specific symptoms).

Though holistic and naturopathic practices are different, both are great approaches to healing your body. No matter what type of treatment you choose, whether holistic healing, a naturopathic doctor, or traditional medicine, you can find the relief you are seeking.

If you are open to trying more natural methods of healing and are feeling like your energy is off, call us to schedule some reiki energy healing!

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