Naturopathic medicine is an advanced degree health care profession that, through a comprehensive understanding of conventional and natural medicine treatment options, emphasizes the ability of the human body to heal or achieve balance, naturally.
Naturopathic doctors receive specialized training in tools and a philosophy of medicine that:
Blend conventional with functional medicine testing options
Integrate time-honored natural medicine with modern scientific advances
Consider complex and multifactorial causes of illness
Offer multi-modality solutions to complex diseases or symptoms
Present individualized treatment plans unique to each patient
Engage and educate patients for their own health care empowerment
See disease and treatment as a process needing attention and care
Naturopathic medicine is not a single treatment modality but instead a philosophy of the medical approach. The conventional treatment approach for many of our chronic illnesses often involve controlling symptoms with prescription medications. Born out of large hospital systems, this is an acute care model attempting to address complex problems of chronic disease. The naturopathic model believes that in order to address the current epidemics of chronic illness we need a dynamic, multi-factorial and patient-centered system. Each patient is treated as an individual and receives treatment recommendation specific to their individual needs. Naturopathic doctors provide patients with several options for their care and collaborate with the patient to determine the best treatment plan.
Guided by specific principles of naturopathic medicine, the naturopathic doctor seeks to:
Build health rather than merely eliminate symptoms
Investigate the underlying cause
Work together with their patients
Treat the whole person
Offer preventative solutions
Honor the human body’s ability to heal
Licensed or registered Naturopathic Doctors (NDs or NMDs) are general practitioners trained as specialists in natural medicine. In practice, Naturopathic Doctors can perform physical examinations, laboratory testing, gynecological exams, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis, and allergy testing. They may order x-ray, ultrasounds, other imaging procedures, and other diagnostic tests. They are the only primary care doctors clinically trained in the use in the following wide variety of natural therapeutics. Naturopathic Doctors combine and tailor these treatments to the needs of the individual in a way that acknowledges the patient as a participant. Although all NDs are trained in all the following modalities, many choose to focus in some of the areas over others. Talk with your ND to find out what modalities they use most commonly.
Although all regulated Naturopathic Doctors are trained in all of the above diagnostic methods and treatment modalities, their “scope”- i.e., what they can legally utilize- varies by location. Each state or province that regulates naturopathic medicine has its own legislation to define an ND’s “scope of practice”.
Naturopathic Doctors understand that what you eat is the basis for your health. Adopting a healthy diet is often the first step towards correcting health problems. Many medical conditions can be treated more effectively with foods and nutritional supplements than they can by other means, but with fewer complications and side effects. Naturopathic Doctors may use specific individual diets, fasting, and nutritional supplements with their patients.
Lifestyle Counseling and Stress Management
Mental attitudes and emotional states can be important elements in healing and disease. Naturopathic Doctors are trained in counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, hypnotherapy, and biofeedback. They also attend to environmental and lifestyle factors that affect their patient’s health.
Plants have powerful healing properties. Many pharmaceutical drugs have their origins in plant substances. Naturopathic Doctors use plant substances for their healing effects and nutritional value.
This gentle yet effective system of medicine is more than 200 years old and is based on the principle that “like cures like.” Homeopathic medicines are very small doses of natural substances that can stimulate the body's self-healing response without side effects. Homeopathy works on a subtle, yet powerful, energetic level, gently acting to promote healing on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels.
Naturopathic medicine includes methods of therapeutic manipulation for muscles and bones. Naturopathic Doctors also employ therapeutic exercise, massage, hydrotherapy, gentle electrical therapies, ultrasound, and heat and cold.
Naturopathic Doctors perform in-office minor surgery including repair of superficial wounds and removal of foreign bodies, warts and cysts with local anesthesia.
Naturopathic Doctors, with additional specialty training, are skilled in the fundamentals of oriental medicine and diagnosis. They may use acupuncture, acupressure, and Chinese herbal medicine to promote healing.
Naturopathic Doctors, with additional specialty training, provide natural childbirth care in an out-of-hospital setting. They offer prenatal and postnatal care using appropriate diagnostic techniques.
Naturopathic practice also includes the use of any medicinal substances which contain elements that are components of bodily tissues or can be utilized by the body for the maintenance of life and the repair of tissues.
All methods of diagnostic testing and imaging are used, including x-ray and ultrasound.
The Healing Power of Nature/Do No Harm/Identify and Treat the Cause/
/Doctor as Teacher/Treat the Whole Person/ Prevention