Naturopathic Doctors (N.D.) combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic physicians help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.
Naturopathic doctors treat all medical conditions and can provide both individual and family healthcare. Among the most common ailments they treat are allergies, chronic pain, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, obesity, respiratory conditions, heart disease, fertility problems, menopause, adrenal fatigue, cancer, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Naturopathic Doctors can perform minor surgeries, such as removing cysts or stitching up superficial wounds. However, they do not practice major surgery. Naturopathic Doctors are trained to utilize prescription drugs, although the emphasis of naturopathic medicine is the use of natural healing agents.
A Naturopathic Doctor has completed a postgraduate medical education specializing in primary care natural medicine. Naturopathic doctors are distinct from acupuncturists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and medical doctors. They are uniquely trained to provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to assist your body’s innate healing processes. Naturopathic doctors are skilled in diagnosis and treatment of disease utilizing natural therapeutics including clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, lifestyle counseling, homeopathy, physical medicine, and hydrotherapy. They 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.
As with all physicians today, Naturopathic doctors are trained at accredited, four to five-year, post-graduate, medical institutions. The training consists of a 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. In their last two years of their intensive clinical training, NDs learn how to integrate the principles of naturopathic medicine into clinical practice.
The 6 principles of Naturopathic Medicine:
- First Do No Harm – Naturopathic Doctors use safe, gentle, and natural therapies to improve the well being of a patient’s health, while limiting risk and adverse effects.
- The Healing Power of Nature – Naturopathic Medicine respects the innate intelligence of the human body to heal. Nature stimulates the physiological systems of the body to bring the organism into balance and equilibrium moving toward a state of optimal health.
- Find and Treat the Cause of Illness – Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine address lifestyle and nutritional factors that cause disease susceptibility. Through tonification of tissues and organs, and supplementation of nutritional deficiencies, Naturopathic Medicine goes to the source of disease and promotes the true treatment of illness.
- Treat the Whole Person – Naturopathic Doctors treat the whole person while taking into consideration the complex factors of human existence, including lifestyle, diet, nutritional status, environmental toxins, genetic predisposition, and emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
- Doctor as Teacher – Docere, the Latin root for doctor means “to teach”. A principle objective of Naturopathic Medicine is to educate the patient with current scientifically-proven information and clinically-valid therapeutics to promote self-responsibility for health and well-being.
- Prevention – Naturopathic Medicine teaches the benefits of healthy living in order to prevent the development of chronic illness and destructive disease states.
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