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What’s the difference between Naturopathic Medicine and Homeopathic Medicine?

I was walking down Congress Street in Portland and on a sidewalk sign saw “Homeopathic Remedies” listed. Excitedly I walked inside, hoping to find the satisfyingly orderly display of blue plastic vials with little white pills. Instead, I found sage sticks, essential oils, and bundles of lavender flowers. The shop owners themselves didn’t actually know their sign was inaccurate!

Homeopathic medicine is a distinct type of natural medicine in which little white pills are taken under the tongue. Many people have tried Arnica, the most popular homeopathic “remedy” in the world, for recovery from trauma and injuries. Homeopathic remedies are produced by ultra-high dilutions of a single natural substance. They stimulate self-healing from the inside out. They are safe to use in children and don’t interfere with the action of conventional drugs.

The only doctors in the US who are medically trained to practice homeopathy are Naturopathic Doctors (ND). Naturopathic medicine is a uniquely American form of medicine originating in 1900. NDs medical training combines a modern scientific understanding of the body and conventional drugs, as well as nutrition, supplementation, physical medicine, homeopathy, herbal medicine, physical adjustments, mind-body techniques, even minor surgery.

Since 1996, all Mainers have had access to care from licensed NDs who practice much like a primary care physician. They diagnose and treat patients, do physical exams, order labs and imaging, prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. What makes NDs special is their ability to have all the current medical science about health and disease, as well as offer a holistic approach to getting and staying well.

A patient coming to an ND will have plenty of time with the doctor. They might get suggestions about diet changes, a supplement or herbal medicine, an exercise regimen, and perhaps a homeopathic remedy to take. An ND thinks about how to support healing using a mind and body approach with a variety of tools; one of these tools is homeopathy.

Many NDs are skilled in the practice of homeopathy here in Maine. If this is an approach that interests you please connect with a doctor in your area to learn more about their expertise at MAND. org.

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