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Oct 7, 2016

What is Naturopathic Medicine?


Naturopathic doctors (N.D.) are primary care practitioners trained as specialists in natural medicine.   Naturopathic doctors treat disease and restore health using therapies from the sciences of clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, exercise therapy, counseling, acupuncture, natural childbirth and hydrotherapy. They tailor these approaches to the needs of an individual patient.  Naturopathic medicine is effective in treating most health problems, whether acute or chronic.  They get to the cause of the problem instead of treating the symptoms with drugs. Many naturopathic physicians have a DEA number and can prescribe pharmaceuticals but most of the time these are not needed.
In practice, naturopathic doctors perform physical examinations, laboratory testing, gynecological exams, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis, allergy testing, X-ray examinations, and other diagnostic tests.  They are the only primary care doctors clinically trained in the use of a wide variety of natural therapeutics.  They combine and tailor these treatments to the needs of the individual based on a cogent philosophy that acknowledges the patient as a participant.
The naturopathic doctor (N.D.) has a degree from a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical University.  Naturopathic doctors must pass either a national or a state level board examination, and their actions are subject to review by a State Board of Examiners.  Because the course work in natural therapeutics is added to a standard medical curriculum, naturopathic doctors receive significantly more hours of classroom education than the graduates of many leading medical schools, including Yale, Stanford, John Hopkins and Mayo medical schools.


Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
  • The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae) – Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body's natural healing ability, and trusts that the body has the innate wisdom and intelligence to heal itself if given the proper guidance and tools.
  • Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam) – NDs attempt to identify and treat the underlying cause of illness, rather than focusing on individual presenting symptoms.
  • First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere) – NDs begin with minimal interventions and proceed to higher level interventions only as determined necessary.
  • Doctor as Teacher (Docere) – NDs educate patients, involve them in the healing process, and emphasize the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.
  • Treat the Whole Person – Naturopathic medicine takes into account all aspects of an individual's health including physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and spiritual factors.
  • Prevention – Naturopathic medicine emphasizes optimal wellness and the prevention of disease.