Written by Dr. Sean Heerey.*  This is the sixth article of our six-article series on the efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and safety of naturopathic medicine when it comes to health promotion and disease prevention based on research from across the country.  To read the five prior articles of The Value of Naturopathic Medicine in New York, please click here:  The Problem:  Chronic DiseaseEvidence-Based Chronic Disease PreventionTrainingCost-Effectiveness, and Safety.

health word in greenNaturopathic medicine is a medical system defined by its philosophy of treating the “cause of disease” and not just alleviating symptoms. It includes health promotion, disease prevention and health care education for patient empowerment. Some of the tools Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) utilize include lab testing (especially looking for unhealthy trends to intervene early), dietary modifications, nutrients, herbal therapies, supplements and lifestyle changes to support patients with health.

U.S. Senate Resolution 221 of the 113th Congress states that “naturopathic doctors are skilled in preventing and treating chronic disease; that naturopathic medicine is a safe, effective, and affordable means of health care; and that licensure of naturopathic doctors helps address the shortage of primary care physicians in the United States, while also providing people with more choice in health care.”

The Value of Naturopathic Medicine in NY — Part VI

Efficacy = Patient Satisfaction

According to a study comparing Complementary Alternative Medicine vs. Allopathic Medicine:

  • Patient satisfaction with services: (92%) CAM vs. (44%) conventional
  • Patients reported conventional care as very (17%) or moderately (27%) helpful
  • Patients reported CAM care as extremely (56%), very (26%) helpful
  • Patients reported they would definitely (76%) or probably (13%) return to the same CAM provider

SOURCE: Stewart D, Weeks J, Bent S. Utilization, patient satisfaction, and cost implications of acupuncture, massage, and naturopathic medicine offered as covered health benefits: a comparison of two delivery models. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine. 2001;7:66-70

Naturopathic medicine is safe evidence-based medicine focused on the prevention and recovery from chronic disease with proven cost savings.

*Thank you also to contributing authors Dr. Maura Henninger and Dr. Rick Brinkman.

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