Naturopathic Medicine FAQs
What is naturopathic medicine?
Naturopathic medicine prioritizes preventing disease and delivers individualized holistic treatment aimed at improving overall health. To learn more, continue reading!
how is naturopathic medicine different from conventional medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct philosophy and practice from conventional medicine. The differences can be distilled down to four major aspects: naturopathic doctors are grounded in the six naturopathic principles, they utilize tools that naturopathic doctors are extensively trained in, they integrate these tools into care according to the therapeutic order, and they spend an extended amount of time working with their clients.
What are the six naturopathic principles?
1. First, do no harm
This is a principle that ALL doctors work to abide by. Naturopathic doctors aim to use the most natural, least toxic, and least invasive modalities with their clients.
2. The healing power of nature
Naturopathic doctors trust in the body’s innate ability to heal itself, and when indicated, utilize natural modalities such as nutrition, supplements, and herbs to further support the healing processes of the body and mind.
3. Identify and treat the causes
Naturopathic doctors work to uncover the true cause of illness so that recommendations can be tailored to best facilitate the client’s healing.
4. Doctor as teacher
The word doctor comes from the Latin word “docere”, which means “to teach”. Naturopathic doctors uphold the intention behind their title by educating their clients throughout their care.
5. Treat the whole person
Naturopathic doctors believe genuine health and wellness incorporates the whole person. It is imperative that they understand how all body systems are intricately connected and use this to inform recommendations, rather than simply treating specific symptoms.
Naturopathic doctors focus on supporting clients in maintaining a healthy lifestyle so as to prevent disease processes from ever beginning. As they say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
What is the therapeutic order?
The therapeutic order informs how naturopathic doctors progress through care. However, inherent to naturopathic medicine, each individual client and their health is unique, and their care may be non-linear. This may require your naturopathic doctor to start somewhere on the therapeutic order other than number one or even two. Regardless, even if your naturopathic doctor STARTS with recommendations further along the therapeutic order, they will often incorporate or plan for recommendations that are lower on the therapeutic order like establishing the foundations for optimal health and removing obstacles.
Why should I see a naturopathic doctor?
If you resonate with any of the following, a naturopathic doctor is likely right for you!
You want a doctor who will consider the whole you, not just your illness.
You’ve exhausted conventional medical doctors and their treatments, and nothing has worked.
You want a personalized set of recommendations.
You want to discover the root cause of your illness.
You want to be a more empowered and active participant in your own health.
You have chronic pain and don’t want to continue managing it forever with only pharmaceutical drugs.
What type of training do naturopathic doctors receive? Do all naturopaths receive the same training?
Naturopathic doctors receive training comparable to conventional medical doctors, with the addition of hundreds of hours training in botanical medicine, physical medicine, counseling, homeopathy, and nutrition. As licensed naturopathic doctors, we:
Attended a 4-year accredited naturopathic medical school where we completed a minimum of 4,100 hours of class, including over 1,200 hours of hands-on, supervised, naturopathic primary care clinical training.
Passed the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX), a two-part exam administered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE) that only students and graduates of accredited naturopathic programs are eligible to take.
Hold an active license in a state that offers licensure.
Complete continuing education credits to maintain a license in good standing.