What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Honoring the sacred wisdom of life to adapt, heal and thrive. Blending the art of healing with the proven scientific foundations of medicine, Naturopathic Medicine is a natural and effective treatment for both acute and chronic health conditions.
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are primary care physicians expert in the art and science of natural medicine, uniquely trained to blend the technology and physiological knowledge of modern science with the wisdom and elemental power of ancient medicinal theories and practice. Natural medicine is steeped in philosophy derived from 2000 year old Hippocratic teaching — the Vis medicatrix naturae — “nature is the healer of all diseases”.
Naturopathic doctors receive their training from federally recognized, four-year, graduate level Naturopathic Medical schools. Naturopathic training encompasses the same rigorous basic bio-medical science that conventional medical schools teach, as well as steep all of the education in the basic principles of naturopathic medicine. The most fundamental of these principles is that nature is wise and the body can heal when the obstacles to wellness are removed. Naturopathic students learn what it means to be well. They study physiology from this perspective, allowing them to strive for wellness in their own lives and provide the tools necessary for their patients rather than simply focusing on the disease and the treatment of symptoms. Licensed naturopathic doctors must pass rigorous board exams in medical science and physiology, pharmacology, diagnosis, and the various treatment modalities taught in naturopathic medical school to maintain safety and efficacy in diagnosis and treatment. ND’s in California must also complete regular continuing education.
Well prepared in their training to serve patients of all age, from infancy through maturity, ND’s utilize extensive history-taking, physical exam and laboratory testing and imaging to diagnose and monitor treatment. They refer to medical specialists when appropriate.
Docere is translated as “doctor as teacher.” Naturopathic doctors not only learn all they can about their patients conditions, environment, and roadblocks to health, but also take the time to teach. Teaching patients about their own bodies, their illnesses and the treatments which can allow for resiliency and wellness is a primary tenet of naturopathic medicine.
Naturopathic treatments are based on the individual needs of the patient. This approach has proven successful in the treatment of both acute and chronic conditions. Treatment relies on the use of clinically successful, time tested, and often-researched natural methods. Choosing the least invasive forms of treatment necessary, catered to the specific needs of each individual patient, allows for successful treatment without harm. Such methods or modalities include counseling, homeopathy, herbal medicine, nutrition, lifestyle counseling, hydrotherapy, physical manipulation, biotherapeutic drainage and others. ND’s strive to assist their patients in attaining and maintaining optimal health throughout the transitions inherent in being alive.