Naturopathic medicine is a holistic method of healing that focuses on identifying and treating the underlying cause of conditions and encouraging and strengthening the body’s own natural ability to heal itself.
Naturopathic physicians are practitioners who specialize in complimentary alternative medicine. They receive a doctorate in Naturopathic medicine from one of the five fully accredited Naturopathic medical schools in North America, at which they are required to pass a standard medical curriculum, as well as training in clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, environmental medicine, acupuncture and counseling. They are trained to use natural, non-toxic therapies solely and in conjunction with conventional medicine, and have expertise in drug-nutrient and drug-herb interactions, and conventional and functional laboratory diagnosis. Upon completion of four years of extensive training, Naturopathic physicians must undergo professional board examinations in order to be licensed by the state as primary care general practice physicians.
Naturopathic physicians play a large role in many organizations, such as Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the advisory board of the National Institutes of Health, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Naturopathic physicians practice using six principles when providing patients with comprehensive, nurturing care.
- Primum non nocere- First do no harm
- Vis medicatrix naturae- The healing power of nature
- Tolle causum-Discover and treat the cause
- Tolle totum- Treat the whole person, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually
- Docere-The physician is a teacher
- Praevenire-Prevention is the best cure