Dr. Wendy Leigh White's Blog

8 Misconceptions About Naturopaths

1) Naturopaths are witch doctors.

One of the biggest common misconceptions is that naturopaths are witch doctors who prescribe different potions and cast spells to heal ailments, but this could not be further from the truth! Naturopaths believe in healing the body naturally, which can mean a number of different things. Often times, a naturopath will suggest dietary and lifestyle changes to help a patient. Whether that means getting an extra hour of sleep every night or eating less processed foods, patients will never have to worry about walking in on their ND stirring a bubbling cauldron!


2) Naturopaths are new or trendy

Naturopathic medicine is often labeled as new or hip, but it has actually been around since the early 1900’s! The American School of Naturopathy was founded in New York in 1902, and the field itself has been growing ever since. Even before its official beginning, the concept of healing a person naturally has been around. Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived more than 2,400 years ago, formulated the original concept of healing through nature. Naturopaths everywhere are practicing today with that same concept in mind.


3) Naturopathic medicine is something you have to choose to believe in or not.

This is not a cult or a religion. There is nothing to ‘buy into’ except the knowledge that the human body is designed well, is super complex, and it’s physiology can be supported to be healthy and in balance by making positive, informed choices in life. Easy!


4) Naturopathic medicine is based on feelings and emotions, not on actual science.

False! Naturopathic medicine is based on plenty of science, specifically anatomy and physiology. In order for an ND to treat a patient, they need to have a thorough understanding of the human body and how everything is connected. To become an ND, one must complete a 4 year bachelor degree at a college or university, followed by a 4 year graduate degree from a naturopathic medical school. During this time, they must take classes like organic chemistry, physics, biochemistry and many more science-focused pre-requisites. Therefore, naturopathic medicine is in fact very supported and aided by science.


5) Naturopaths make you choose one or the other- either your medical doctor, or your naturopathic doctor.

So not true! Despite popular opinion, most naturopaths actually believe a medical and naturopathic doctor can work in harmony. Deciding to visit a naturopath does not mean you have to stop seeing your medical doctor altogether, it simply gives you a different perspective and some alternative treatment methods in addition to what you may be used to.


6) Naturopaths are for hippies.

Many people assume that naturopaths are reserved for animal lovers and tree huggers, but you’d be surprised at how many different types of people visit a naturopath regularly. From college professors and corporate executives to celebrities like Madonna and Oprah, there is no single type of person who can visit a naturopath. As naturopaths can help with such a wide range of issues, there really is no limit to who they are willing to treat.


7) Naturopathic medicine is less effective than pills/surgeries/medical doctors.

One of the biggest reasons that naturopathic treatment works well for so many people is because it is focused on finding the root cause of the dis-ease for each individual. Instead of a patient having to take handfuls of pills every morning or requiring surgery, naturopathic doctors work with their patients on creating a healthy lifestyle so that their body can be in balance and those other options are not necessary. NDs also emphasis preventing disease, which is just as, if not more effective than dealing with the problem once it has already taken hold.


8) Naturopathic medicine is super expensive.

The main reason people say seeing a naturopath is too expensive is because, unfortunately, many naturopaths are not covered by insurance. However, many NDs have sliding scale programs to help patients cover a large portion of their visit. In addition, it may feel like a lot if a visit to your naturopath is $150 and a bottle of pills is only $10, but those bottles add up over time to much more than $150. By visiting a naturopath you can cure many diseases and ultimately get off some of those pills, so you will no longer have to pay for refills. The cost for paying for an ND is much less than the cost of dealing with illness or disease.



We sincerely hope that after reading this article you can view licensed naturopathic doctors as an ally in your pursuit of a healthy life. We are here to provide you with the best possible care that is tailored to your own personal lifestyle, so ignore those misconceptions and rumors- we aren’t so bad after all 🙂