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What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine combines natural, non-toxic therapies with current advances in human health and disease. It is a dynamic, whole person approach to health care that emphasizes prevention and self-care. Naturopathic medicine focuses on identifying and treating the underlying cause of a condition rather than merely addressing the symptoms. This approach has shown to not only be safer but more effective in treating a majority of chronic medical disorders. Naturopathic medicine uses physical and laboratory diagnostics and encourages referral to other practitioners when appropriate. Naturopathic medicine relies on six cohesive principles that prime naturopathic medicine to be the preeminent health care approach of the future.


What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

A Licensed Naturopathic Physician (ND) attends a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school and is educated in the same basic sciences as an MD/DO, but also studies holistic therapies with a strong emphasis in disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the Naturopathic Physician is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology and counseling to support people in making healthy lifestyle choices. A Naturopathic Physician takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician. Naturopathic physicians remain committed to on-going scientific research in both modern methods as well as expansions in the understanding of natural healing techniques.


Licensure

In September 2003 Governor Gray Davis signed bill SB07 granting licensure to qualified Naturopathic Doctors in the state of California.  Candidates are those who have completed a four year curriculum at a naturopathic medical school that maintains accreditation or accreditation candidacy. Oversight is conducted by the Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine within the Department of Consumer Affairs www.naturopathic.org.  Additional information on naturopathic schools can be found at www.aanmc.org.


The Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine calls on physicians to view each individual as a complex being, considering not just a person’s symptoms or even the disease itself, but the entirety of the person. This includes each person’s physical structure, unique biological make-up, environmental influences, mental outlook and personal aspirations. More simply said, to treat the whole person.

The complex interplay of lifestyle habits, the environment, heredity and genetics convene to promote particular risk factors for disease in each of us. A proactive assessment of these factors and early intervention is by the far the best means of prevention. Therefore the old adage, prevention is the best cure could not be more true.

Through teaching and motivation, the doctor as teacher promotes healthy lifestyle choices, emphasizing self-care and responsibility, thus undermining the “cure in the pill” myth. In fact, many disorders such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and digestive disorders can be improved, if not resolved, with proper doctor directed coaching.

All of the above is done while considering all possible therapeutic options yet selecting those least likely to cause harm and using less safe approaches only as last resort.

It is a system that seeks to identify and treat the cause of a symptom or disease while avoiding the more common approach of dispensing pharmaceuticals that focus on the manifested symptom without addressing the root cause.

Fundamental to our approach, the healing power of nature reminds us of the inherent wisdom of our biology. Sometimes all that is needed is a little nudge from a specially selected nutrient found to be deficient or the removal of a toxic substance.

The root of Naturopathic Medicine and its philosophy is born out of these six guiding principles.

1.    Treat the whole person

2.    Prevention is the bet cure

3.    The doctor as teacher

4.    Least likely to cause harm

5.    Identify and treat the cause

6.    The healing power of nature

Click Here to get a FREE report on Naturopathic Modalities. Good to use as a reference when determining what you'd like to discuss with your Naturopathic Physician.