Letter: Benefits of Naturopathic Treatment

To the Editor:

The U.S. Senate recently voted to make Oct. 7 through 13 Naturopathic Medicine Week. Naturopathic doctors use natural treatments such as nutrition, exercise, vitamins, herbs and natural hormones to treat disease while also addressing the underlying causes of ill health. They understand how different body systems interrelate and work to strengthen overall health and prevent further disease.

The Senate resolution recognizing naturopathic medicine cited numerous reasons for doing so. Among them:

∎ More than 75 percent of health care costs are due to preventable chronic illnesses, including high blood pressure, which affects 88 million Americans, and diabetes, which affects 26 million.

∎ Two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight and at risk for serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and depression.

∎ 70 percent experience stress, and stress can contribute to the development of major illnesses.

∎ Chronic health conditions are among the most common, costly and preventable conditions.

∎ Naturopathic medicine provides noninvasive, holistic treatments that support the body’s inherent self-healing capacity and encourage self-responsibility in health care.

∎ Naturopathic medicine focuses on patient-centered care, the prevention of chronic illnesses and early intervention.

∎ Naturopathic physicians attend four-year graduate-level programs accredited by agencies approved by the Department of Education.

The Senate resolution urged Americans to learn about naturopathic medicine and the role naturopathic physicians play in preventing and treating chronic and debilitating illnesses. Readers can learn more at the website of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians at www.naturopathic.org.

Susan B. Kowalsky

Naturopathic doctor