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ABOUT NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE
     

What is Naturopathic Medicine    Education    Principles    Resources 


What is Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct profession of primary health care, emphasizing prevention, treatment and the promotion of optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and modalities, which encourage the self-healing process.

A Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) has completed a postgraduate medical education specializing in primary care natural medicine. Naturopathic doctors are distinct from acupuncturists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and medical doctors. They are uniquely trained to provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to assist your body's innate healing processes. Naturopathic doctors are skilled in diagnosis and treatment of disease utilizing natural therapeutics including clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, and hydrotherapy. They tailor these approaches to the needs of each individual patient. Naturopathic medicine is effective in treating most health problems, whether acute or chronic. Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all other branches within the medical field, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.


Education
As with all physicians today, Naturopathic doctors are trained at accredited, four to five-year, post-graduate, medical institutions. The training consists of a comprehensive study of the conventional medical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, cardiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, etc, as well as detailed study of a wide variety of natural therapies. In their last two years of their intensive clinical training, they learn how to integrate the principles of naturopathic medicine into clinical practice.


Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent ability in the body which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to recovery and to facilitate and augment this healing ability.

Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)
The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to eliminate or merely suppress symptoms.

First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic medicine follows three principles to avoid harming the patient: 1) utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects; 2) avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms; 3) acknowledge and respect the individual's healing process, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat illness.

Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
Naturopathic physicians educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.

Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic physicians treat each individual by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual path.     »» Go to top

Prevention
Naturopathic physicians emphasize disease prevention, assessment of risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine strives to create a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.

Wellness
Wellness follows the establishment and maintenance of optimum health and balance. Wellness is a state of being healthy, characterized by positive emotion, thought and action. Wellness is inherent in everyone, no matter what is-ease(s) is/are being experienced. If wellness is really recognized and experienced by an individual, it will more quickly heal a given disease than direct treatment of the is-ease alone.


Resources
For More information about Naturopathic Medicine, please try the following links:
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
The California Naturopathic Doctors Association
The Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine
Bastyr University


Caution: Some persons who identify themselves as “NDs” are generally not licensable in any state. Make sure your practitioner is licensed, a graduate of an accredited naturopathic medical college, or a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.     »» Go to top