Naturopathic medicine is a unique system of health care that is based on both scientific and traditional methods. It is a system that is rooted in a set of philosophies and principles that emphasizes prevention and a holistic approach towards diagnosis and treatment.
Naturopathic physicians are trained similarly to medical and osteopathic doctors (MD, DO) and undergo a rigorous four-year postgraduate program, providing both academic and clinical disciplines. These naturopathic medical colleges provide instruction in:
- minor surgery
- clinical and physical diagnosis
In addition to being trained in conventional medical therapies, Naturopathic physicians are also trained in naturopathic modalities such as:
- clinical nutrition
- manipulative therapy
- botanical medicine
The Naturopathic Therapeutic Order™ identifies the natural order in which all therapies should be applied to provide the greatest benefit with the least potential for damage.
- Remove Obstacles to Health
Health, the “natural state” of one’s body, is disturbed by obstacles that lead to disease. The first step in returning to health is to remove the entities that disturb health allowing additional therapeutics to have the most beneficial effects possible.
- Stimulate the Self-Healing Mechanisms
NDs use therapies to stimulate and strengthen the body’s innate self-healing and curative abilities.
- Strengthen Weakened Systems
Systems that need repair are addressed at this level of healing. Naturopathic doctors have an arsenal of therapeutics available to enhance specific tissues, organs or systems.
- Correct Structural Integrity
Physical modalities may be used or recommended to improve and maintain skeletal and musculature integrity.
- Use Natural Substances to Restore and Regenerate
Naturopathic medicine’s primary objective is to restore health, not to treat pathology. However, when a specific pathology must be addressed, NDs employ safe, effective, natural substances that do not add toxicity or additionally burden the already distressed body.
- Use Pharmacologic Substances to Halt Progressive Pathology
NDs are trained in pharmacology and how to use pharmaceutical drugs when necessary. If their state license permits, they can prescribe these agents themselves or if not, refer to a conventional medical colleague.
- Use High Force, Invasive Modalities: Surgery, Radiation, Chemotherapy
When life, limb, or function must be preserved, NDs refer patients to MDs who are expertly trained in these arenas. At the same time, NDs use complementary or supportive therapies to decrease side effects and increase the effectiveness of these invasive procedures.