What is Naturopathic Medicine

Education:

Naturopathic MedicineIn order to be licensed, naturopathic physicians must have attended an accredited four-year naturopathic medical program (www.aanmc.org).  In an accredited program, students must learn the basic medical sciences (e.g. anatomy, biochemistry), as well as clinical sciences (e.g. cardiology, neurology).  In addition to the standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic doctor is required to complete training in clinical nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, psychology, counseling and physical medicine.   While in school students take part in clinical rotations where they learn to diagnose and treat patients under the supervision of attending physicians.  Additionally, licensed naturopathic physicians must have passed two sets of national board exams.

 

Philosophy:

Naturopathic medicine is a patient-centered model of medicine that blends the best of modern science and traditional healing wisdom to develop comprehensive treatment plans that not only treat disease but also allows patients to restore optimal health.  From day one, Naturopaths are trained to incorporate six principles in our approach to patient care:

  • First Do No Harm – use the simplest least invasive treatments to treat disease
  • The Healing Power of Nature – the body has an innate ability to heal itself and only requires support and guidance
  • Identify and Treat the Cause – find the root cause of a problem rather than treating symptoms.
  • Doctor as Teacher – educate our patients about their bodies and the healing process so they are active participants in their journey to wellness.
  • Treat the Whole Person – each person brings a unique set of physical, mental and emotional components and requires a unique approach to healing.
  • Prevention – proactive medicine saves money, pain, misery and lives.

Modalities

ModalitiesClinical Nutrition:  “Food is the best medicine” is a cornerstone of naturopathic medicine.  Using knowledge of physiology and biochemistry specific nutritional supplements, natural hygiene, fasting, and dietetics can be used therapeutically.

Botanical Medicine:   The use of plants and plant extracts to treat disease and promote health.  When used in proper combinations and doses, herbs are safe and effective, producing few side effects.

Homeopathy:  A 200-year-old system of medicine based on the idea that like cures like.  Specially prepared dilutions of substances are carefully matched with the patient to stimulate the body’s innate ability to heal.

Physical Medicine:  Hands-on treatments such as therapeutic massage, craniosacral therapy, ultrasound, hydrotherapy, as well as, therapeutic exercise and stretching.

Mind-Body Medicine and Counseling:  Our thoughts, feelings and emotions can positively and negatively affect our biological functioning.  Many mind-body therapies focus on becoming more aware of our mental states, and using this awareness to guide our mental states in a more positive direction.

Pharmacology:  When needed, pharmaceutical intervention may be used for the best interest of the patient while being supported by other more natural therapies listed above.