Understanding Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine’s philosophy is fundamentally different from conventional medicine. As naturopathic doctors, we are guided by the following six principles:
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent ability in the body, which is ordered and intelligent.
Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to recovery and to facilitate and augment this healing ability.
Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)
The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to eliminate or merely suppress symptoms
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic medicine follows three principles to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances, which minimize the risk of harmful side effects.
- Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms.
- Acknowledge and respect the individual’s healing process, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat illness.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
Naturopathic physicians educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic physicians treat each individual by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors.
Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual path.
Naturopathic physicians emphasize disease prevention, assessment of risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine strives to create a healthy world in which humanity may thrive. These principles guide each clinical interaction. When I am asked what I do for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, eczema, asthma, and many other conditions, my first response is it depends on the person. Four different people may come into my office suffering from high blood pressure, but the underlying cause in each case may be different, leading to individualized treatment plans specific to the cause. Identifying the cause of symptoms is crucial to successfully treating the whole person. The following is an incomplete list of conditions that patients often present with:
|Osteoporosis||Autoimmune Disease||Heart Disease||Otitis media|
|Cancer||Hemorrhoids||Ovarian cysts||Chronic Fatigue|
|Hepatits||Parkinson’s||Colitis||High blood pressure|
|Dysmenorhhea||IBS||Sensory Integration Disorders||Eczema|
|Insomnia||Urinary Tract Infections||Endometriosis||Interstitial Cystitis|
|Vaginal dryness||Fibroids||Mastitis||Yeast Infections|
Generally, a naturopathic medical approach supports you on all levels –mental, emotional and physical. Naturopathic doctors are trained to teach you how to optimize wellness and use naturopathic medicine to enrich your life. Treatments include safe and effective natural remedies and therapies:
- Craniosacral Therapy
- Homeopathic Drainage
- Flower Essences
- Emotional Freedom Technique
- Dietary and lifestyle modifications
- Botanical medicine
- **Intravenous Vitamin Therapy**- **Not Available In NYS
- **Minor Surgery**- **Not Available In NYS
- **Naturopathic Manipulative Treatment**- **Not Available In NYS
**Not Available In NYS
Naturopathic Medical Education
A licensed naturopathic doctor attends a four-year professional level naturopathic medical school,earning the graduate degree doctor of naturopathic medicine. Naturopathic medical students receive training in the same basic sciences as conventional medical students with additional coursework in holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy and medication. While naturopathic medical curriculum includes in-depth training in diagnosis and treatment of disease, it emphasizes disease prevention and wellness optimization.
Above and beyond conventional medical curriculum requirements,the naturopathic medical student must complete four years of training in clinical nutrition,homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and lifestyle counseling Like conventional medical school graduates, naturopathic medical school graduates are required to take rigorous professional board exams for licensure by a state or jurisdiction in order to practice as general or primary care physicians.
There are seven naturopathic medical schools in North America. Please refer to http://www.aanmc.org for a list of accredited schools. Always ask your naturopathic doctor where they received their training and in what jurisdiction they are licensed. There are unlicensed practicing healthcare practitioners that call themselves “naturopaths” .They have limited online book training on the theory and practice of naturopathy and are not qualified to practice primary care medicine in any state.