Naturopathic Medicine is the original integrative medical system! Naturopathic medical education is unique in that it includes conventional medical diagnosis and treatment with the traditional healing arts.
Treatment is based on a six-pronged philosophy:
1. FIRST DO NO HARM – Use the most gentle, least invasive therapy that is available.
2. THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE - Work with the healing power of nature’s remedies and the body’s innate ability to transform.
3. TREAT THE CAUSE - Treat the root cause of illness by using gentle and natural methods; Focus on building health and wellness, rather than simply treating symptoms or disease.
4. TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON – Treat the person, not the disease.
5. DOCTOR AS TEACHER – Work with patients as a teacher, coach and mentor.
6. PREVENTION IS THE BEST ‘CURE” – enough said.
Naturopathic doctors (ND) are trained as primary health care providers in a four-year accredited naturopathic medical school. Currently there are four such schools in the US. The basic courses taken in the first two years of school are identical to those taken in conventional medical programs including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, clinical and physical diagnosis, lab diagnosis and pharmacology. Further studies include cardiology, oncology, urology, gynecology, dermatology, neurology, pediatrics, geriatrics, minor surgery and gastroenterology.
In addition, NDs have in-depth education in nutritional and dietary therapy, herbal medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, massage, physiotherapy, naturopathic manipulative techniques, Chinese medicine and counseling.
It should be noted that Naturopathic Doctors are the only profession that receives training on hormone balancing with bio-identical hormones as part of their medical education.