Naturopathic medicine blends centuries-old natural, non-toxic therapies with current advances in the study of health and human systems, covering all aspects of family health from prenatal to geriatric care. With an emphasis on whole-patient wellness; the medicine is tailored to the patient and emphasizes prevention and self-care.
Naturopathic medicine attempts to find the underlying cause of the patient’s condition rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment. Naturopathic physicians cooperate with all other branches of medical science referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.
The ND degree course of study is an intensive four to five year doctoral program that prepares candidates for state board licensing examinations and the general practice of naturopathic medicine. The core, or required, curriculum provides the foundation and skills necessary for establishing a naturopathic family practice.
Naturopathic medical education is imbued with a unique philosophy grounded in the six principles (see right column) of naturopathic medicine, which include holistic, nontoxic approaches, along with an emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness.
The ND school curricula includes in many of the same biomedical and diagnostic sciences as their MD counterparts as well as areas of study not covered in conventional med school, such as clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, physical medicine, and psychological counseling. The result is a comprehensive and well-rounded medical education.
Naturopathic medicine is defined by principles rather than by methods or modalities. Above all, it honors the body’s innate wisdom to heal. Naturopathic physicians practice the six fundamental principles of naturopathic medicine:
The Healing Power of Nature
Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself.
Identify and Treat the Causes
Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause.
First Do No Harm
Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
Doctor as Teacher
Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
Treat the Whole Person
View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions.
Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.