Naturopathic Medicine combines the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science to provide comprehensive health care.
Drawing from traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. Naturopathic Doctors (ND’s) emphasize whole patient wellness – taking into consideration the unique physical, mental, emotional and spiritual state of the patient. They also have a deep belief and reverence for the innate healing capability of the body and its ability to restore and maintain optimal health. ND’s teach their patients to use diet, exercise, lifestyle choices and cutting edge natural therapies to enhance this innate ability to ward off and combat disease.
Naturopathic Medicine relies on the following timeless principles:
- The Healing Power of Nature – It is the responsibility of the physician to facilitate healing by removing any obstacles that may be interfering with a person’s inherent self-healing process.
- Identify and Treat the Cause – Naturopathic Medicine seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to suppress symptoms.
- First, Do No Harm – Naturopathic Doctors utilize methods and medicine, which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat.
- Doctor as Teacher – Doctors who practice naturopathic medicine take time to educate each patient and to help them to understand their responsibility in their healthcare.
- Treat the Whole Person- Each of us are comprised of physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and spiritual factors, which are all taken into account as Naturopathic Doctors treat their patients.
- Prevention – The Naturopathic Doctor understands the importance of disease prevention and incorporates the above principles to guide their patients toward optimal health.
ND’s start their training with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and pre-med classes. They then attend Naturopathic Medical School, an intensive four-year Doctoral program with the first two years studying anatomy, physiology and pathology – similar to the classes in regular medical school. The latter half of the program focuses on pharmacology and minor surgery as well as alternative and natural healing modalities such as botanical medicine, manipulation, clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, Chinese medicine and nutritional supplements. The last year also requires students to log clinical hours in a medical office with licensed physicians overseeing their work. Finally, they must pass all board exams before receiving their license.