How To Choose The Best Holistic Practitioner for You

Holistic medicine has been gaining popularity in the last 10 years. Americans are not only adopting healthier lifestyles, they are also taking nutritional supplementation to help improve their health. As Americans move towards healthier lifestyles they are also beginning to realize they need to find qualified practitioners to help them make the right health style choices. I thought I would use this blog to define a few of the fields to help people make a decision which practitioner is best for you.

I will make the caveat that I think it is most important to find a practitioner who listens and who you can speak to comfortably about your health.

Naturopathic Physician (ND) Naturopathic medicine is my passion and I feel so blessed to be able to practice this form of medicine. Naturopathic physicians are medically trained doctors who hold the belief that the body has the innate ability to heal itself.

Osteopathic Physicians (DO) According to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury.

It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine.

Chiropractic Physician (DC) A health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatment including spinal adjustment and other joint and soft tissue manipulation.

Acupuncturist, LAc Acupuncture is a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical locations on or in the skin by a variety of techniques. There are a number of different approaches to diagnosis and treatment in American acupuncture that incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The most thoroughly studied mechanism of stimulation of acupuncture points employs penetration of the skin by thin, solid, metallic needles, which are manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation.

Nutritionist A nutritionist plans and/or formulates special meals for patients. The name can also simply be a euphemism for a cook who works in a medical facility but who does not have extensive training in special nutritional needs.

Registered Dietitians (RD) RDs have earned a bachelor’s degree with course work approved by ADA’s Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education. Coursework typically includes food and nutrition sciences, foodservice systems management, business, economics, computer science, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and chemistry.

Homeopathy Homeopathy seeks to stimulate the body's ability to heal itself by giving very small doses of highly diluted substances. It is a very specific type of medicine that does not include nutrition, herbal medicine, physical medicine, lab work, prescription drugs or technology.

In the next blog I will give examples of what types of patients go to specific types of holistic doctors.

Sources:

"American Association of Naturopathic Physicians." American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. http://naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=59

"Definitons of Chiropratic." http://www.wfc.org/website. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. www.wfc.org/website/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=90&Item...

"Definition of Acupuncture." http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=2132. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=2132

"Definition of Nutritionist." MedicineNet.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4603

"Homeopathy: An Introduction [NCCAM Backgrounder]." National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [NCCAM] - nccam.nih.gov Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/homeopathy

"Qualifications of a Registered Dietitian." eatright.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. http://www.eatright.org/HealthProfessionals/content.aspx?id=6857.

"http://www.aacom.org." American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. http://www.aacom.org/about/Pages/default.aspx