What is a naturopathic doctor?
A naturopathic doctor (ND) is an expert in natural medicine. NDs blend natural, non-toxic therapies with current advancements in the study of health and human systems, covering all aspects of family health from pediatrics to geriatric care. They are committed to using cutting edge knowledge and tools to resolve their clients’ health issues and to create health solutions that can be uniquely tailored to each individual client’s needs.
NDs attempt to find the underlying cause of a person’s condition rather than focusing solely on symptomatic care. They collaborate with all branches of medicine referring to medical doctors, specialists and other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate. NDs take the time to listen to their clients’ needs and provide them with the space and answers they need to feel cared for and supported.
Currently, 20 states and territories license NDs to practice. Licensed NDs are graduates of four-year naturopathic medical schools with admissions requirements comparable to those of other medical schools. Degrees are awarded after extensive classroom, clinical and practical study. Medical science coursework includes cardiology, neurology, radiology, obstetrics, gynecology, immunology, dermatology, and pediatrics.
Alaska • Arizona • California • Colorado • Connecticut • District of Columbia • Hawaii • Idaho • Kansas • Maine • Minnesota • Montana • New Hampshire • North Dakota • Oregon • Puerto Rico • U.S. Virgin Islands • Utah • Vermont • Washington
Identify and Treat the Cause: NDs seek to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness.
First Do No Harm: NDs use natural medicine to support the individual’s self healing process. Natural medicine can often minimize the risk of harmful side effects. NDs recognize the need and appropriate use of higher force interventions when necessary.
Doctor As Teacher: NDs educate their clients and encourage self-responsibility for health.
Treat the Whole Person: NDs consider many factors of health including physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and spiritual.
Practice Prevention: NDs emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and making appropriate interventions.
Clinical Nutrition is a cornerstone of naturopathic medicine. It refers to the practice of using food to maintain health, the therapeutic use of food as medicine, and the utilization of targeted vitamin and nutrient therapy when necessary.
Homeopathy is a powerful system of medicine that is more than 200 years old. This medical system uses highly diluted natural substances to help the body heal from illness.
Botanical Medicine is also known as herbal medicine and is the use of plants as medicine. Many plant substances are powerful, safe, and effective medicines when used properly.
Hydrotherapy includes therapeutic application of water (hot and cold) and ice to improve blood flow, decrease inflammation and support healing.
Stress Management is offered by NDs. Mental attitudes and emotional states can be important elements in healing. NDs are trained in many mind-body techniques.
*The existence or absence of licensing laws may affect the types of therapies an ND can administer. Ask your ND for more information about available therapies.