Naturopathic doctors (ND’s) are primary care physicians
clinically trained in natural therapeutics. Their practice
is based on the same biomedical sciences and diagnostic
techniques as conventional medical doctors, however,
their philosophy and approach differs considerably. Naturopathic
physicians recognize that living things have a natural
capacity to heal. For example, what if you scraped your
arm, and in the process also cut a hole in your shirt?
Eventually, your arm would heal as long as you kept it
clean. The shirt no matter how good the tailor, would
never be the same. This is the difference between living
vs. non-living. Naturopathic physicians work with
your body’s ability to heal. Individualized treatments
are chosen based on each patient’s unique set of
Naturopathic physicians are trained in natural modalities
such as acupuncture, clinical nutrition, counseling,
herbal medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, and physical
manipulation, among others.
Licensed naturopathic physicians (ND’s) attend an
accredited four-year graduate level naturopathic medical
program, including two years of supervised clinical training.
are required to pass professional board exams to become
licensed as general practice naturopathic doctors within
licensed states or as individual jurisdictions allow.
There are six principles that guide the therapeutic
methods of naturopathic medicine:
Prevention is the
First Do No Harm (primum non nocere)
Naturopathic medicine uses therapies that are safe and
The Healing Power of Nature (vis medicatrix naturae)
The human body possesses the inherent ability to restore
health. The physician's role is to facilitate this process
with the aid of natural, nontoxic therapies.
Discover and Treat the Cause,
Not Just the Effect (tolle
Physicians seek and treat the underlying cause of a disease.
Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body's natural
attempt to heal. The origin of disease is removed or
treated so the patient can recover.
Treat the Whole Person (tolle totum)
The multiple factors in health and disease are considered
while treating the whole person. Physicians provide
flexible treatment programs to meet individual health
The Physician is a Teacher (docere)
The physician's major role is to educate, empower, and
motivate patients to take responsibility for their own
health. Creating a healthy cooperative relationship with
the patient has a strong therapeutic value.
Naturopathic physicians are preventive medicine specialists. Physicians
assess patient risk factors and heredity susceptibility and intervene appropriately
to reduce risk and prevent illness. Prevention of disease is best accomplished
through education and a lifestyle that supports health.