Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession that supports and stimulates our natural ability to heal themselves. Naturopathic medicine combines conventional, functional, integrative, and holistic medicines into one so that each person gets individualized care that gets to the root cause of their health problem. Naturopathic medicine does not treat symptoms alone. Naturopathic medicine treats the whole person. Naturopathy was brought to the United States from Germany in the 1800s, but some of its treatments are centuries old. The roots of Naturopathy go back thousands of years, relying on the healing wisdom of many cultures, including Indian (Ayurveda), Chinese (Taoist), Greek (Corpus Hippocraticum), Arabic, and European Egyptians (Monastic). In these early civilizations, people lived in a harmonious relationship with their surroundings and the understanding of disease was accomplished by observing nature and how it interplayed with human life. Naturopathic doctors combine the healing wisdom of many cultures with modern science. 

 

There are six principles in naturopathic medicine: 

 

Naturopathic medical training:

A licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD. They also study holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness through lifestyle intervention. In addition to a standard medical curriculum including cadaver lab, the naturopathic physician also studies clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and holistic counseling. A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician. Most naturopathic doctors complete a residency. It is important to see a naturopathic doctor that attended a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school and who also completed a residency.

In states where naturopathic medicine is licensed, naturopathic doctors practice as primary care physicians:

Naturopathic medicine is used for acute and chronic health conditions in all ages. Naturopathic doctors can perform minor surgery and prescribe pharmaceuticals. Individuals turn to naturopathic medicine to support conventional treatments they may already be doing or to prevent a family history of disease.

 

Some common conditions that naturopathic doctors help with include:

  • Allergies

  • Eczema

  • Headaches

  • Fertility issues

  • Digestive problems

  • Obesity

  • Hormonal imbalances

  • Chronic pain

  • Infections

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Cancer

 

You don’t have to be sick to try naturopathic medicine:

You may just want to boost your overall health or prevent an illness. Americans’ growing demand for a more holistic approach to health care is easy to understand. Modern medicine is geared toward treating illness when it occurs, patching people up and sending them on their way. But that’s not necessarily the best way to manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, sinusitis, and fibromyalgia, as Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, and other progressive doctors started pointing out a couple of decades ago. What’s more, thanks to increasing pressure on physicians to move quickly from patient to patient, many began spending less time talking to people about ways they can get healthier by reducing stress, exercising, or eating better. Teaching you how to optimize your health is the focus of naturopathic doctors.