Naturopathic medicine uses both modern and traditional methods to help support your body’s ability to heal itself, and to help bring your body back into balance naturally.
Naturopathic doctors (ND’s) attend a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic doctor also studies clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling.
The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice:
- The Healing Power of Nature: Naturopathic doctors act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment the body’s inherent self-healing process.
- Identify and Treat the Cause: The naturopathic doctor seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
- First Do No Harm: Naturopathic doctors utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.
- Doctor as Teacher: Naturopathic doctors educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health.
- Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors.
- Prevention: Naturopathic doctors emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
To find out more about naturopathic medicine and naturopathic doctors, please visit the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) website.