Natural Medicine and PCOS

Natural medicine offers benefits for those who suffer from PCOS.

What's the distinction between a "ND" and "MD"? Although MD is the most familiar designation for a physician, there are actually a number of different physician professions.

Although it started with a distinct practice philosophy that focused on the health of the bony and connective tissue structures of the body, a Doctor of Osteopathy is now essentially identical in education and practice to a medical doctor. The Doctor of Chiropractic is another familiar designation.

The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine has the same pre-med bachelor degree as the other professions, followed by a four year, post-graduate naturopathic medical education.

What Makes Naturopathic Medicine Different?

Naturopathic doctors are primary care physicians who provide safe, effective, personalized healthcare with natural therapies to support each person's healing capacities. They are devoted to holism. The body-mind-spirit connection is basic to naturopathic practice philosophy. Respect for the integrity of the whole person, their inherited and environmental circumstances, their emotional and spiritual realities, their economic and social situation, the core of naturopathic health care.

They use natural therapies almost exclusively. Although NDs in certain states are licensed to prescribe antibiotics, hormones and other pharmaceutical preparations, the tools of nature are their true expertise.

Naturopathic medial philosophy incorporates the ancient law of "First, do no harm". The naturopathic physician's role is to address disruption and damage to the human system with methods such as nutrition, herbs and homeopathy.

They use physical therapies like exercise, massage and body work, ultrasound and hydrotherapy. Spiritual and emotional distress is handled with counseling or training in self-care methods like meditation or relaxation techniques. A naturopathic doctor will be sensitive to your personal beliefs and spiritual practices. NDs may also use bony manipulation like a chiropractor, or the acupuncture of traditional oriental medicine.

Are NDs "Real Doctors"?

In just over two decades they have re-established a legitimate medical profession, with accredited colleges, a national licensing exam and licensure as primary care physicians in a a number of states. Insurance companies are writing policies that cover naturopathic services and managed care organizations are integrating NDs into their plans.

Not all NDs are licensed by state authorities to practice medicine. But licensable NDs are indeed real doctors.

There are licensable NDs in many states. These practitioners will be able to show you a diploma from a school accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. Most will be members of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. There is a directory of NDs at this website.

What Can I Do Next?

First, know what you are looking for, and don't settle for less than the best. You want an interactive, mutually respectful, integrated health care team.

It's optimal to have cooperation among individuals from whatever set of health care specialties that best suits your unique circumstances. The PCOS Health Review newsletter and The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertilty will provide you a rich source of information on current natural therapies relevant to polycystic ovary syndrome. Use this information to improve your own understanding of the options available to you.

As a woman with PCOS, you know complex your needs are and how they change over time. Therapies that were once effective become less so. So you may need to consult with more than one doctor and you will need to continually educate yourself about possible therapies for improving your health.

Other Natural Therapies for PCOS

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