I get this question (replace anxiety with any ailment) from friends and family every single day. The problem is, naturopathic physicians don’t view treatment this way. Let me explain what I mean.
Most of us are used to the traditional medical model of “take this pill for this complaint” (ibuprofen for pain, excedrin for headaches, tums for indigestion, etc). In the naturopathic world, we don’t just substitute herbs for pills, but we instead look for the original cause of the ailment. That’s what the word holistic means: treating the whole person rather than just patching up their symptoms.
“The brilliant thing about this approach is that it is intended for patients to find true healing from their ailments.”
Let’s look at the anxiety example mentioned in the headline. If I see a patient complaining of anxiety, we’ll explore why they’re anxious (instead of just replacing xanax with lavender). Is this patient experiencing adrenal fatigue, b vitamin deficiency, iron deficiency, exigent life circumstances, or is anxiety a part of their constitution? What does their individual anxiety look like? Do they experience panic attacks? Maybe they have racing thoughts that they can never shut off. Do they feel heart palpitations or sweaty palms? Does it present during times of stress or is it constant? You get the idea. Different presentations require much different treatment plans believe it or not.
The brilliant thing about this approach is that it is intended for patients to find true healing from their ailments. As an ND, I never intend for a patient to be on a lifelong treatment, whether natural or pharmaceutical. This is often why people seek out natural health alternatives in the first place: freedom! This is also why googling “natural treatments for (fill in the blank)” will not get you very far 90% of the time.
Sure, we have some natural combinations that we turn to for the basic acute presentation. For instance, many patients keep our tummy tea on hand for when they experience indigestion following a splurge off of their nutrition plan. However, if you are repeatedly turning to remedies (natural or otherwise) for an ailment, it might be time to explore what the root cause is and pursue a treatment plan that will heal you rather than offer a bandaid. Come on in and explore what naturopathic medicine can do for you!