A Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) has completed a four year postgraduate medical education specializing in primary care and natural medicine. Presently, there are four naturopathic medical programs in the United States, and three programs in Canada. The training consists of comprehensive study of the conventional medical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, cardiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, etc, as well as detailed study of a wide variety of natural therapies.
Naturopathic doctors are skilled in diagnosis and treatment of disease utilizing natural therapeutics including clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, and hydrotherapy. We tailor these approaches to the needs of each individual patient. Naturopathic medicine is effective in treating most health problems, whether acute or chronic. Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all other branches within the medical field, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine:
The Healing Power of Nature-The body has an inherent ability to establish, maintain and restore health. The naturopath’s role is to identify and remove obstacles preventing recovery and to provide services that support the inherent self-healing processes.
Treat the Whole Person-The harmonious function of all aspects of the individual (body, mind and spirit) are essential to good health. Imbalances in one area affects the whole, so remedies must be based on a comprehensive understanding of the unique individual.
Identify and Treat the Cause-The naturopath seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than merely eliminate or suppress symptoms. Symptoms are the body’s attempt to heal and should not be suppressed with treatment.
First Do No Harm-The doctor must be mindful of the consequences and side-effects of treatment. The more gentle and natural the remedy, the less disruptive and invasive it is to the patient as a whole.
Doctor as Teacher-The Naturopath’s major role is to educate and encourage the client to take responsibility for their health, and to be a catalyst for healthful change. It is the client and not the doctor who ultimately creates and accomplishes healing.
Prevention-The ultimate goal of naturopathic medicine is prevention of disease, which is accomplished through working in partnership with the client to promote life habits that create good health. The emphasis is on building health rather than fighting disease. Naturopathic Medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.