With the growing popularity of complimentary and alternative medicine, the demand for safe and effective options has risen to new heights and naturopathic medicine meets this demand. 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 management. NDs support the body’s innate ability to heal with natural therapeutics and by following the guiding principles of naturopathic medicine:
- Support the healing power of nature. The body’s innate ability to heal can be restored by removing obstacles to healing.
- Identify and treat the causes. NDs work to go beyond treating the symptoms of an illness to find the true cause of illness.
- First, do no harm. NDs use low risk and natural methods to treat their patients with few or no side effects.
- Educate patients. Knowledge is power and NDs educate their patients about healthy eating habits, healthy lifestyle habits and stress management.
- Treat the whole person. Our health is determined by our physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and spiritual makeup. NDs acknowledge all these factors that are unique to the individual.
- Prevent illness. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” NDs work with their patients to create a specific healthy lifestyle plan that takes into account their risk factors, heredity and vulnerability to future disease.
Education of Naturopathic Doctors
A licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) attends a four-year graduate level program at an accredited naturopathic medical university. 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 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.