Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the human body has an innate
healing ability. Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) teach their patients to use diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and cutting edge natural therapies to enhance their bodies’ ability to ward off and combat disease. Naturopathic doctors craft comprehensive treatment plans that blend the best of modern medical science and traditional natural medical approaches to not only treat disease, but to also restore health.*
Naturopathic Medicine is based upon the 6 philosophical principles that define how N.D.s practice:
- Do no harm.
- Identify and Treat the Cause.
- Use the Healing Power of Nature.
- Treat the Whole Person.
- Doctor as Teacher.
NDs study basic and clinical sciences as well as natural therapeutics. Upon completion of a 4-6 year medical program, graduates sit for a national board exam to qualify for a license to practice naturopathic medicine.
As an ND, the goal is to assess the patient’s health history globally and map out the road back to wellness by using the most natural, least invasive therapies first by:
- finding an underlying cause of illness,
- restoring function as much as possible so the organism has the ability to return to homeostasis and heal itself,
- addressing mental and emotional aspects of the person’s life and health,
- helping patients work towards achieving
optimal health and focusing on prevention of disease.
NDs are able to order most conventional lab and imaging studies as well as functional
lab panels. The latter are useful in tracking and diagnosing complex health problems and causes that may not show up on customary tests. ND’s perform physical exams, chart histories and utilize a variety of natural therapeutics and some conventional methods of treatment (which is dependant on the scope of state practice).
Most ND’s are “generalists” and primary care providers; however, some choose to
focus more on specific areas, such as naturopathic oncology, urology, cardiology, women’s health, environmental medicine, etc.
NDs utilize homeopathy, diet, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, botanical medicine, supplements, mind-body therapies, bio-identical hormones, functional and orthomolecular medicine, patient education and other means as their treatment modalities. A wide spectrum of acute and chronic illnesses is treated.