What is Naturopathy?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Intregrative Health, naturopathy—also called naturopathic medicine—is a medical system that has evolved from a combination of traditional practices and health care approaches popular in Europe during the 19th century.
People visit naturopathic practitioners for various health-related purposes, including primary care, overall well-being, and treatment of illnesses.
In the United States, naturopathy is practiced by naturopathic physicians, traditional naturopaths, and other health care providers who also offer naturopathic services.
What Naturopathic Practitioners Do
Naturopathic practitioners use many different treatment approaches. Examples include:
- Dietary and lifestyle changes
- Stress reduction
- Herbs and other dietary supplements
- Manipulative therapies
- Exercise therapy
- Practitioner-guided detoxification
- Psychotherapy and counseling.
Some practitioners use other methods as well or, if appropriate, may refer patients to conventional health care providers.
Remember that regulations, licenses, or certificates do not guarantee safe, effective treatment from any health care provider—conventional or complementary. To learn more, see the NCCIH fact sheet Credentialing, Licensing, and Education.
Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.