What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of family medicine that skillfully combines ancient therapeutic traditions with modern science to restore health. Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) use a variety of therapies to restore and maintain the health of their patients including clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, physical medicine, and lifestyle recommendations. We work to support the body’s innate ability to heal with natural therapeutics by following the guiding principles of naturopathic medicine:
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine:
Our work is guided by our strong adherence to our elegant and enduring philosophy which includes:
- Supporting the healing power of nature; we believe in the body’s innate ability to heal.
- Identify and treat the causes. We work to go beyond treating the symptoms of an illness to find the cause of illness whenever possible.
- Like all physicians, we aim for the classic tenet: First, do no harm. We use low risk and natural methods to treat patients using approaches that have few to no side effects.
- Educate patients. We believe that knowledge is power, so we work to educate our patients about healthy eating habits, other healthy lifestyle changes as well as on how to decrease and manage stress. Whenever we can, we try to involve our patients and the parents of our patients in the prevention and treatment at home or in the approaches they can learn to use themselves.
- We believe that our health is determined by physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and spiritual elements and so aim to treat the whole person.
- We strongly believe in the axiom “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” so we work with our patients to create specific healthy lifestyle plans that take into account personal risk factors, heredity and vulnerability to future disease.
Education of Naturopathic Doctors:
As licensed naturopathic doctors (ND) we attend four-year, post-graduate, in-residence accredited naturopathic medical schools. The institutions in the United States are recognized by the Federal Department of Education. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic doctor is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, naturopathic philosophy, psychology, and counseling. Upon graduating, NDs must sit for and pass a national level board examination called NPLEX for licensure. NPLEX follows the same standards as the National Board of Medical Examiners, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners. For further information on Naturopathic Medical Schools in North America please see the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools.