What is Naturopathic Medicine?
The Naturopathic physician has a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
(N.D.) from a four-year graduate level Naturopathic medical college.
Naturopathic physicians are general practitioners trained as specialists
in natural medicine and preventative health care. N.D.s treat disease
and restore health by implementing therapies based on the following
Naturopathic principles as described by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
- Let nature heal. Our bodies have such a powerful,
innate instinct for self-healing. By finding and removing the barriers
to this self-healing—such as poor diet or unhealthy habits—naturopathic
physicians can nurture this process.
- Identify and treat causes. Naturopathic physicians
understand that symptoms will only return unless the root illness is
addressed. Rather than cover up symptoms, they seek to find and treat
the cause of these symptoms.
- First, do no harm. Naturopathic physicians follow three precepts to ensure their patients’ safety:
- Use low-risk procedures and healing compounds—such as dietary
supplements, herbal extracts and homeopathy—with few or no side
- When possible, do not suppress symptoms, which are the body’s
efforts to self-heal. For example, the body may cook up a fever in
reaction to a bacterial infection. Fever creates an inhospitable
environment for the harmful bacteria, thereby destroying it. Of course,
the naturopathic physician would not allow the fever to get dangerously
- Customize each diagnosis and treatment plan to fit each patient. We
all heal in different ways and the naturopathic physician respects our
- Educate patients. Naturopathic medicine believes
that doctors must be educators, as well as physicians. That’s why
naturopathic physicians teach their patients how to eat, exercise, relax
and nurture themselves physically and emotionally. They also encourage
self-responsibility and work closely with each patient.
- Treat the whole person. We each have a unique
physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, sexual and
spiritual makeup. The naturopathic physician knows that all these
factors affect our health. That’s why he or she includes them in a
carefully tailored treatment strategy.
- Prevent illness. "An ounce of prevention is worth a
pound of cure" has never been truer. Proactive medicine saves money,
pain, misery and lives. That’s why naturopathic physicians evaluate
risk factors, heredity and vulnerability to disease. By getting
treatment for greater wellness, we’re less likely to need treatment for