What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct health care system that emphasizes the promotion of optimal health and vitality, prevention of disease, as well as comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of disease when it does arise. Naturopathic non-invasive therapies are often used to complement pharmaceutical interventions or surgical treatments (non-invasive therapies include botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, vitamin and mineral therapy, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, and counseling). Naturopathic medicine is distinguished from other medical systems by the six principles it is based on:
1. FIRST DO NO HARM - As Naturopathic Physicians, we use therapies that are minimally invasive which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to help heal the body. During your visit, a ‘therapeutic order’ is always kept in mind - which means that we start by selecting the most effective, least invasive treatment to address your health concern.
2. THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE - Naturopathic medicine recognizes that the body has inherent wisdom. Naturopathic Physicians help to identify and remove the obstacles that are hindering you from recovery in order to facilitate your body's own natural healing process so you can return to health.
3. IDENTIFY AND TREAT THE CAUSE - As Naturopathic Physicians, we seek to identify and remove the underlying cause of disease rather than palliate or suppress symptoms. We do this by spending time with you during your appointment to get the full picture of who you are and how you live. Our goal is to ease your symptoms while at the same time removing the factors that caused them in the first place.
4. DOCTOR AS TEACHER - Our goal as Naturopathic Physicians is to educate our clients about health, inspire self-empowerment, and encourage self-responsibility for health. Your health concerns are heard, addressed, and we aspire to give you the knowledge, guidance, and encouragement needed to reach your health goals.
5. TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON - As Naturopathic Physicians, we believe in treating each client as an individual. We take into account the whole person - supporting the physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and spiritual factors contributing to your health. Your health is an integrated functioning of the whole you rather than separate entities.
6. PREVENTION - Naturopathic Physicians emphasize prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, hereditary susceptibility of disease, and encouraging appropriate interventions to support health. This includes maximizing the foundational levels of healing (air, food, hydration, sleep, environment, exercise, emotions, and community) to optimize your health.
What Training Does a Naturopathic Physician have?
Licensed Naturopathic Physicians (ND), are licensed primary care doctors who are trained in the prevention, diagnosis, management, and treatment of both acute and chronic health related conditions. They attended a nationally-accredited 4-5 year post-graduate naturopathic medical school. Naturopathic physicians are trained in biomedical sciences, natural therapeutic approaches, and received over 1,100 hours of supervised clinical training where they managed patient health care. Naturopathic Physicians are required to pass rigorous post-graduate national board exams to obtain medical licensure. Naturopathic Physicians can prescribe prescription medications and perform minor surgery when indicated, however, their main emphasis is to use more natural therapies. For more information please visit the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website.