What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a unique system of health care, promoting natural healing and prevention of disease. Doctors of naturopathic medicine are trained as primary care general practitioners who use a variety of non-invasive natural therapeutics to holistically treat both acute and chronic health conditions.
Naturopathic medicine blends ancient therapeutic traditions with the latest medical research. Naturopathic doctors are trained in a multitude of natural therapies including clinical nutrition, homeopathy, botanical/herbal medicine, physical medicine, lifestyle counseling, and hydrotherapy, among others.
Philosphy of Naturopathic Medicine
The philosophy from which naturopathic doctors operate is holistic and is founded on the concept that our bodies have a natural ability to heal themselves. We seek to remove the obstacles to cure and to aid and abet nature’s healing power. Our approach is to follow the Naturopathic Therapeutic Order, seeking to address systemic issues and using the least invasive therapies as possible. When necessary and appropriate, we prescribe conventional pharmaceuticals.
The whole person approach of naturopathic medicine focuses on partnering with patients to create and enhance health. It is effective in positively resolving many disease conditions without additional intervention.
Naturopathic care can be beneficial in an integrated medical framework. We team up with other professionals when that is the best course. Our philosophy and modalities complement the approach and skills of conventionally trained medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, advance practice nurses, chiropractic doctors, licensed acupuncturists and others. We seek to be patient-centered, striving to meet your individual needs.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
Doctors of naturopathic medicine are guided by six principles of naturopathy, which emphasize a holistic and natural approach to patient care, diagnosis, management, and treatment of medical conditions. The principles of naturopathic medicine include:
Naturopthic Medical Education
Naturopathic doctors are educated at accredited, four-year, post-graduate naturopathic medical schools. The comprehensive medical training includes studies in basic medical sciences, clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory and diagnostic imaging studies, clinical medical sciences, naturopathic philosophy, pharmacology, and a wide variety of natural therapeutics. In order to become licensed practitioners, naturopathic doctors must successfully pass national board exams, first in the basic and clinical medical sciences and then in all of the naturopathic therapeutics.
Doctors of naturopathic medicine are educated in the use of many natural and non-invasive modalities. These include clinical nutrition, lifestyle counseling, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, botanical medicine, homeopathy, stress management, natural hormone therapy, and prescription medications. Naturopathic doctors may also have additional training and certification in cranio-sacral therapy, acupuncture, somatic therapy, cancer treatment, natural childbirth and other specialties. For more information, here is the link for the Bastyr University 4-year curriculum for naturopathic doctors.