What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is an alternative form of health care where natural therapies are utilized to restore and optimize health. Naturopathic Doctor’s are trained experts in the field of natural medicine and treat a wide variety of health concerns and complaints. They are committed to identifying and treating the cause of disease rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment and view each person as a unique individual. The philosophical approach of naturopathic medicine includes disease prevention, patient education, and encouragement of the body’s natural ability to heal. Naturopathic medicine combines centuries old nontoxic therapy modalities with current advances in medical science and research.
What type of training do Naturopathic Doctors (ND's) receive?
Naturopathic Doctor’s (ND's) receive a four-year postgraduate level training at an accredited naturopathic medical school. Currently, there are four existing naturopathic colleges in the US, which are accredited by the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education, recognized by the US Department of Education. The four years of training consist of graduate level study in the medical sciences and clinical medicine; in addition to, training in naturopathic therapeutics, including clinical nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, hydrotherapy, counseling, and body work. After graduation, ND's must pass a national board examination consisting of basic medical sciences as well as naturopathic modalities to become licensed doctors. Overall, Naturopathic Doctor’s have spent more than 1000 hours in teaching clinics at their medical school and have personally worked with more than 500 patients before graduating. To learn more about naturopathic medical program refer to www.ncnm.edu for more details.
Are ND's licensed?
Currently, 14 states, Washington, DC, and the US territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have licensing laws for Naturopathic Doctor’s. In these states, Naturopathic Doctor’s are required to graduate from an accredited naturopathic medical school and pass a national postdoctoral board examination before receiving their license. Currently, New York is not among these 14 states. However, the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians (NYANP) requires its professional members to maintain a valid license from one of the licensing jurisdictions. Currently, licensing efforts are taking place in New York. For more information refer to www.nyanp.org or www.naturopathic.org.
What kinds of therapies are used by ND's?
Depending upon the individual and their health concern, Naturopathic Doctor’s have an array of tools to help the patient alleviate illness and achieve optimal health. Some of their therapies include:
Clinical Nutrition is the cornerstone of Naturopathic Medicine. It involves the therapeutic use of food and nutritional supplements to aid in alleviating illness. A growing body of scientific research indicates that food and nutritional supplements are as effective in treating many medical conditions than any other means, with fewer complications and side effects.
Botanical Medicine is the use of plants to heal. Many plant substances are powerful and effective forms of medicine. They are safe when used in the right dose and in proper combination with other herbs and treatments. Botanical medicine can be used in the form of teas, tinctures, and capsules.
Homeopathic Medicine is a holistic form of medicine that aims to help the body heal itself. It works for both acute illnesses and chronic conditions. Homeopathic remedies act on both the physical and emotional level with seldom side effects, and they are safe for all ages. Homeopathy is a powerful form of medicine that has been used for more than 200 years.
Hydrotherapy is the application of water in any form, either externally or internally, in the treatment of disease and the maintenance of health. Water with variables including temperature, timing, frequency, and location can be used effectively in treating acute and chronic conditions.
Counseling involving lifestyle counseling and stress management. Mental attitudes and emotional states are important elements in optimizing one’s health. Naturopathic Doctors are trained in many different psych.