What is Naturopathic Medicine

    Licensed naturopathic doctors (NDs) are primary health care doctors trained to use natural methods in preventing and treating disease. Naturopathic doctors focus on treating the whole person and promoting health. They are trained to conventionally diagnose and treat disease using the most up-to-date laboratory technologies and imaging techniques.They use holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and wellness. They can perform all routine medical exams and minor surgeries in the office, but may also refer patients to medical specialists for more specialized testing or conventional intervention. 

    Naturopathic doctors attend a 4-year graduate level naturopathic medical school. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic doctor is required to complete 4 years of training in clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, and hydrotherapy. A naturopathic doctor takes rigorous professional board exams to be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care physician. To be eligible to sit for the board exams, a candidate must have graduated from one of the three accredited schools in the United States. Currently, naturopathic doctors are licensed in Puerto Rico and 11 states: Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington. Several states are currently creating licensing laws. 

    Naturopathic Medicine philosophy is based on 6 principles:
1) Healing power of nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae) 
Naturopathic physicians work to support and restore nature's powerful healing mechanisms in the body, mind and spirit by using techniques that are in harmony with natural processes. 
2) First do no harm (Primum non nocere) Naturopathic physicians prefer non-invasive treatments which minimize the risk of harmful side effects.
3) Find and Treat the cause (Tolle causam) Every illness has an underlying cause.., often found in aspects of the individual's lifestyle. A Naturopathic physician is trained to find and remove the cause of the illness.
4) Treat the whole person.  Naturopaths know that health and disease come from a complex interaction of factors and thereby treat the person, not the disease.
5) Doctor as teacher (Docere) Naturopaths, as teachers, empower their patients to understand their condition and explore the appropriate treatment options.
6) Prevention  The Naturopathic approach to health can prevent minor illness from developing into more serious or chronic degenerative disease.