is a system of primary care medicine that looks to find the underlying cause of disease rather than mask symptoms with medication. The main difference between naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine is in our philosophy. We believe that the body can heal itself given the right tools and treat each patient according to that idea. Naturopathic doctors take a detailed case history, do a comprehensive physical exam, run both conventional and alternative labs and create individualized treatment plans for each patient. This medicine focuses on prevention first and opts for surgery last. We practice with the following 6 principles in mind.
The six principles of naturopathic medicine
First, Do No Harm
Naturopathic doctors use the least intervention possible to diagnose illness and restore health.
The Healing Power of Nature
There is an inherent healing system of the body which establishes, maintains, and restores your health. Naturopathic doctors support this system rather than suppress symptoms.
Treat the Whole Person
Individual health is affected by many factors: physical, mental, genetic, epigenetic, emotional, environmental, spiritual, and social. Humans are complex beings with interconnected systems and naturopathic medicine treats them as such, evaluating each person as a whole.
Identify and Treat the Cause
Symptoms are the body’s way of letting you know something is out of balance. Underlying causes of illness and disease must be identified and removed before complete recovery can occur. The goal is to treat the causes of your disease, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress its symptoms.
Doctor As Teacher
We teach our patients about a healthy lifestyle and how the human body functions to empower them to take the responsibility of their health in to their own hands.
Naturopathic doctors assess risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and make appropriate interventions, in partnership with their patients, to prevent illness.
Licensed naturopathic doctors go through four years post graduate schooling and must pass two national board exams. The first two years of our training are nearly identical to that of a conventional medical doctor's; with classes such as anatomy, physiology, immunology and biochemistry. It is the second two years where are training differs. We focus less on pharmacology and more on therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine, hydrotherapy, physical manipulation and homeopathy. Graduates are required to accrue 1,400 clinic hours to graduate and pass two national board tests to be licensed to practice medicine.
For more information on our training: http://aanmc.org/schools/comparing_nd_md_curricula/