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Naturopathic Medicine

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

• Naturopathic medicine is a distinct health care profession, emphasizing

   prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic

   methods that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process.

• Naturopathic medicine is not simply the diagnosis and treatment of disease

   with natural agents. It is a practice based upon the restoration of health.

• The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional,

   scientific, and empirical methods.

• Although health is the natural state of the being, it is influenced by the

   interactions of the person with the existing environment, both internal

   and external.

Principles of Naturopathic Medicine.

The Healing Power of Nature

Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.

Identify and Treat the Cause

The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.

First Do No Harm

Naturopathic physicians follow three primary guidelines to avoid harming the patient:

• Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful

   side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;

• Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and

• Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process

Doctor As Teacher

Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.

Treat the Whole Person

Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual 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 development.


Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease and promotion of wellness by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, health habits, and diet and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.

How are Naturopathic Doctors trained?

• A licensed naturopathic physician

   (ND) attends a four-year, graduate

   level on-site naturopathic medical



• A licensed ND is educated in all of

   the same basic sciences as an MD,

   including anatomy, physiology,

   biochemistry, pharmacology,

   pathophysiology, physical, clinical,

   and laboratory diagnosis.


• Naturopathic students also study

   holistic and natural approaches as

   well as therapies with a strong

   emphasis on disease prevention

   and optimizing wellness.

• In addition to a standard medical

   curriculum, naturopathic physicians

   study clinical nutrition, homeopathic

   medicine, botanical medicine,

   psychology, naturopathic 

   philosophy, physical medicine,

   and counseling.


• Naturopathic medical students take

   courses which address conventional,

   naturopathic, and integrative

   medicine, and functional medicine

   approaches to such health systems

   as: gastroenterology, immunology,

   infectious disease, urology,

   neuroscience, nephrology,

   endocrinology, and urology.


• A naturopathic physician must pass

   a rigorous professional board in

   order to be licensed by a state or


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