The Naturopathic Walk of Life

By Personal Fitness Trainer Amber Walz, Seattle Athletic Club Downtown

Many questions arise around naturopathic medicine. The creed, “do no harm,” is first and foremost. A licensed ND goes through a 4-year medical doctorate program at an accredited university and must pass national boards called NPLEX exams. Naturopaths operate on the holistic standard of treating the cause, not the symptom. Most of the time treatment of symptoms will not address the underlying issue. This is most obvious in cases of chronic illness; for example, if you have a client with diabetes who is treated with insulin, but not treated with nutritional guidelines and exercise, the symptoms are being treated yet not the cause. Naturopaths seek to restore and maintain optimum health in their patients by emphasizing nature’s self-healing process, the vis medicatrix naturae.


Food as medicine– Nutrition can be complex yet an amazing way to treat many conditions, correct deficiencies, discover intolerances, and balance energy. A naturopath will give nutritional guidance within their scope both as a medicine, as well as, diet.

Physical medicine- Physical medicine will increase longevity, and is used in treatment and upkeep of the physical body. Naturopathic medicine can encompass many forms of treatment depending on specialization of the practitioner.

Herbal medicine- Herbs and homeopathy are used in treatment to supplement or as an alternative to prescription medication. Most often the herbs will mimic the same biochemical pathway as the prescription option. Homeopathy is a method of treating like with like. Highly diluted substances are used to trigger the same symptoms and the body’s natural healing system as a response.

Counseling- The mind is as the body does. Naturopaths are trained to take into account quality of life, stress, and overall emotional health upon treatment. The counseling is limited to the practitioner’s specializations, yet it is always an element of treatment.


If you are curious about what a naturopath can offer, well, you are in the right place. Washington is one of the most progressive states related to naturopathic scope of practice. There is growing demand for integrative practices, which will lead to greater opportunity for research and development of this holistic field of medicine.





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