As clinical director of the Rachman Clinic in Black Mountain, North Carolina, Brad Rachman provides naturopathic care to patients across his own community and in nearby Asheville. Naturopathy, also called naturopathic medicine, is a holistic form of care that emphasizes the restorative powers of nature and the body’s ability to self-heal. By extension, the practice maintains a strong focus on “first do no harm,” a vow that all doctors make when taking the Hippocratic Oath. Naturopathic physicians believe that this means treating a patient with minimal invasiveness, avoiding side effects when possible, and treating the cause rather than the symptoms. In fact, practitioners of this discipline prefer not to suppress symptoms that are believed to be essential to the healing process. A wellness-focused discipline, naturopathy stresses helping patients prevent disease and achieve long-term continuing health. It follows the guiding principle of “doctor as teacher,” and as such, it includes a significant patient education and patient participation components. Visitors to a naturopathic practitioner are commonly asked to make changes to their eating, sleeping, and exercise habits. In addition, because naturopathy is a holistic practice, patients are often advised to make emotional, spiritual, social, and mental adjustments as well as physical ones.
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