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What's the difference?

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 12:30 AM
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Hey all,

I have been looking into the different fields of natural health that I could go to school for and was wondering what the difference is between a Naturopathic Doctor and a Holistic Practitioner? I know one has to do more with diet and the other more along the lines of medicinal things, but I could be wrong. I was also looking into a Family Herbalist. Does anyone know anything about that? Thanks for the help,

Kyla
A Bradley Method Instructor

&

PBi Placenta Encapsulation Specialist
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 12:30 AM
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Khrystann
by on Jan. 26, 2009 at 3:45 AM

A Naturopathic Physician (ND) attends an actual medical school (a naturopathic med school), completes a residency and is board certified to practice naturopathic medicine. They see patients in a primary care setting, some specialize in OB or Oncology too.

A Holistic Practitioner is a person who may or may not have any formal medical training at all (usually not).  It's an umbrella term.  They could be anything from massage therapists, yoga therapists, life coaches, psychics, hypnotherapists, energy workers (such as those dealing with reversed polarity), and everything you can think of in between!  Some Holistic Practitioners have gone through accredited programs and have passed boards to practice their art, others, there are no regulating bodies and therefore no formal education required.

An Herbalist is Holistic Practitioner who has done training (often an apprenticeship, maybe classes through an herbal clinic, sometimes they just read a book) in the study of herbology.  They are NOT medical professionals.  Their knowledge varies greatly as does their level of education.  Herbals are not regulated by any govt agency, therefore these specialists can legally "prescribe" herbs to treat... anything.   Buyer be ware. 

I have a strong bias here, sorry.  My Step-mom was really into this stuff and was always carting us off to somebody.  She fell for scams, or so it seemed.  They always charged a lot of $ but she never found results.  Our herbalist had a lot of herbal knowledge (I do acknolage that) but it freaked me out when I was 17 and he tried to recruit me to become his apprentice because of my strong aura and iridology mapping.  I had always planned on becoming an MD so his entire world seemed a bit too easy to me. 

If I wanted to be treated with herbals I would go to an ND, I want my practitioners to have a high degree of education and actually have a regulating body.  But that's me.  I think what ever it is you decide to do, you should find the rout that would provide you with the highest level of knowledge in that field.


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