How does naturopathic medicine compare to conventional medicine?
Differences are primarily philosophical
Both are doctors, both provide primary care and both are similarly trained.The primary differences between naturopathic and conventional medicine are the philosophical approach and the therapies used.
Naturopathic medicine understands symptoms as an attempt of the body to heal itself.
Naturopathic medicine is founded on the understanding that the body has an innate healing mechanism, which, if properly supported, will allow the organisms to heal. Simultaneously, symptoms are seem as an attempt of the organism to restore balance and are therefor meaningful and not just to be suppressed.
Conventional medicine controls and suppresses symptoms
Conventional medicine generally considers the symptom to be a problem to be controlled or managed, primarily with drugs, and the idea of innate healing ability of the organism is not something that is part of allopathic/conventional medicine.
NDs treat individuals
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) treat patients as individuals by addressing the physical, environmental, lifestyle, attitudinal, and emotional aspects of health. This allows Naturopathic doctors to find and treat the cause of the disease using natural, non-invasive therapies.
MDs treat disease
Allopathic doctors generally do not treat the individual, but rather the disease. Patients with certain diseases are given specific drugs, such as anti-hypertensive, anti-depressants, anti-inflammatories - notice the 'anti' prefix, etc. and rarely if ever are issues such as lifestyle, nutritional, emotional and other factors addressed, which may be causing the person's health problem.