What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care that integrates safe and effective natural therapies with current advances in medical science. Naturopathic medicine is a non-toxic, non-invasive approach that covers all aspects of family health, acute and chronic disease and prevention.
A Naturopathic Doctor (ND) is a primary care general practitioner trained as an expert in natural medicine. Naturopathic medicine concentrates on whole-patient wellness. The medicine is tailored to you as an individual and emphasizes prevention and health education. Naturopathic medicine strives to address the underlying causes of your condition rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment. Naturopathic Doctors cooperate with all other branches of medical science, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.
Naturopathic Doctors are trained as primary care practitioners at naturopathic medical schools fully accredited by the US Department of Education. Like conventional medical schools, these four-year, graduate level, in-residence naturopathic medical programs provide a solid foundation in the basic medical sciences and in conventional diagnostic and treatment methods. Extensive coursework in naturopathic therapeutics is combined with supervised, outpatient clinical training in comprehensive integrated health care.
Additional information on naturopathic medical schools can be found at www.aanmc.org.
Naturopathic Doctors take the time to listen to you and nurture healing relationships. NDs tailor treatments to your unique situation, applying their expertise in naturopathic therapies including:
- Nutritional and Lifestyle Modification
- Herbal Medicine
- Physical Medicine
- Counseling and Stress Management
- Vitamins and Dietary Supplementation
These six principles, emphasized throughout a naturopathic doctor’s training, outline the philosophy guiding the naturopathic approach to health and healing and forms the foundation of this distinct health care practice.
Harness the Healing Power of Nature
Naturopathic Doctors work to stimulate your own self-healing abilities of body, mind and spirit. Naturopathic medicine harnesses the vast potential of nature’s medicines to stimulate your inherent healing power.
First Do No Harm
Naturopathic Doctors choose remedies and therapies that are safe and effective, to optimize your overall health and reduce harmful side effects.
Identify and Treat the Cause
The primary goal of your Naturopathic Doctor is to identify and treat the underlying causes of your condition, rather than simply managing symptoms.
Treat the Whole Person
Your Naturopathic Doctor will spend time with you to understand and work with the whole picture of your health. Disease affects the entire person, not just a specific organ or system. In treating the cause of any condition, your Naturopathic Doctor takes into account not only your physical symptoms, but other aspects of your well-being such as your emotions, stress level, lifestyle, family history, environmental stresses and nutritional status.
Naturopathic Doctors educate you about your health and empower you with the tools to live in balance and to become a good steward of your own health.
Naturopathic Doctors emphasize the prevention of disease - assessing your risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions in partnership with you to prevent illness.