Naturopathy is a popular alternative to the western medical model of illness where health issues are treated primarily with drugs. The naturopathic approach focuses on treating diseases and disorders (primarily without the use of drugs) by treating the whole person – mind, body, and spirit.
Menopause and the menopausal transition are not diseases or disorders and therefore cannot be ‘cured’. However, many symptoms of the menopausal transition are successfully eased or managed with naturopathic remedies.
Menopause and Naturopathic Therapies.
Western medicine has not focused on the research and treatment of menopausal transition symptoms, so many women who seek help from their clinical health-care provider are left with no information, help, or hope.
Additionally, many women desire personalized care, are biased to believe that natural remedies are better than manufactured drugs, and are challenged by the cost of those drugs. These factors have led to a surge in naturopathic treatment– based on a whole body treatment to manage symptoms during the menopausal transition.
Naturopathic practitioners that have received training in the field of women’s health are well equipped to listen and hear women when they present with challenging perimenopausal symptoms. Not all naturopathic practitioners have the same level of knowledge and training or specialization so do your research when seeking out medical advice.
What are Naturopathic Practitioners?
Naturopathic physicians, also known as naturopathic doctors (ND) or doctors of naturopathic medicine (NMD) have training at an accredited four-year graduate level program. The training they receive is similar to conventional medical training, with additional training in nutrition, psychology and alternative (also called complementary) therapies including herbal medicines. NDs and NMDs are regulated in many provinces and states, and in some, they have the ability to write prescriptions. NDs and NMDs often assess patients with the use of specialized tests, many of which are not covered by the average health plan.
Naturopaths are not formally trained in any programs nor can they be licenced or prescribe medicines. Many naturopaths are homeopaths, practitioners that use only homeopathic remedies, which are made from diluted natural substances.
Traditional healthcare providers may have training in naturopathic medicine or be fully trained in naturopathy and have a license as an ND or MND.
Finding a trusted source to provide information about non-western (ie non-hormonal) menopausal therapies can be difficult.  If you are considering naturopathic treatment, it is really a case of buyer beware – you need to ask about your practitioner’s training and licencing and consider if that training meets your standards for care.