The naturopathic healthcare philosophy is a different medical model that focuses on treating the entire person by working to discover the causes of disease. Its primary goal is to promote health versus managing disease. Naturopathic Physicians (N.D. or N.M.D) address each person as a unique individual and are careful not to label people as their disease conditions.
When determining a course of action or treatment plan for an individual, physical, mental/emotional and spiritual health is taken into account, rendering a personally tailored prescription. Naturopathic medicine and the physicians that practice it promote prevention and self-care through education and believe good health and longevity are maximized when we live as naturally as possible.
Following a Bachelors of Science in pre-medicine, naturopathic doctors enter into a four-year medical school from one of four accredited naturopathic medical universities in the country. The rigorous program includes two years of basic sciences, two years of clinical sciences and practical experience with a focus on natural medicine.
The Naturopathic Physician operates according to six principles:
The Healing Power of Nature: A person’s inherent self-healing process is recognized by naturopaths. A Naturopathic Physician aims to work with his/her patients by removing any obstacles that may be interfering with this self-healing process.
Identify and Treat the Causes: The Naturopathic Physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm: Naturopathic Physicians utilize methods and medical substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat.
Doctor as Teacher: Naturopathic Physicians educate and encourage responsibility for one’s own health. A therapeutic doctor-patient relationship is employed.
Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic Physicians take into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors and recognize the relationship of one’s mind, body and spirit.
Prevention: Prevention of disease is greatly emphasized by Naturopathic Physicians. A partnership is formed between a patient and his/her doctor to prevent illness and to contribute to a healthy world.
The naturopathic doctor, in order to arrive at an individualized treatment plan for each patient, collects a thorough history, completes a directed physical exam, and utilizes appropriate laboratory tests.