NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIANS: EXPERTS IN NATURAL MEDICINE
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are physicians trained as specialists in natural medicine. In practice, naturopathic physicians perform physical examinations, take thorough health histories, and order lab tests, imaging procedures, and other diagnostic tests. Referrals are made to specialists for additional testing or treatment when necessary.
Naturopathic physicians provide natural treatments that are effective and safe. Since they are also extensively trained in pharmacology, NDs are able to integrate natural treatments safely with prescription medications, often working with conventional medical physicians and osteopathic physicians to ensure you the most comprehensive and safest care possible.
Naturopathic physicians attend four-year, graduate level programs at institutions recognized by the US Department of Education. There are currently 7 such schools in North America. Naturopathic medical schools provide the same foundational coursework as conventional medical schools. In addition, ND programs provide extensive education unique to naturopathic treatment approach, emphasizing disease prevention and wellness.
Some of the modalities involved in Naturopathic Medicine are:
Naturopathic physicians understand that diet is the basis for health. Adopting a healthy appropriate diet is often the first step towards correcting health problems. Naturopathic physicians may use specific individualized diets, fasting, and nutritional supplements with patients.
Lifestyle Counseling and Stress Management
Mental attitudes and emotional states can be important elements in healing and disease. Naturopathic physicians are trained in counseling, stress management, hypnotherapy, and biofeedback. They also attend to environmental and lifestyle factors that affect patient health.
Plants have powerful healing properties. Many pharmaceutical drugs have their origins in plant substances. Naturopathic physicians use plant substances in varied forms for their healing effects and nutritional value.
Naturopathic physicians, with additional specialty training in midwifery, may provide natural childbirth care. They offer prenatal and postnatal care using appropriate diagnostic and treatment techniques.
Naturopathic medicine includes methods of therapeutic manipulation for muscles and bones. Naturopathic physicians also employ therapeutic exercise, massage, hydrotherapy, bio-electrical therapies, ultrasound, and applications of heat and cold.
Naturopathic physicians are trained in the fundamentals of oriental medicine and diagnosis. They may use acupressure, and Chinese herbal medicine to promote healing. With additional training and licensure they may also perform acupuncture.
Minor Office Procedures
Naturopathic physicians perform in-office minor surgery including repair of superficial wounds and removal of foreign bodies, warts and cysts with local anesthesia.
Naturopathic physicians have expertise in drug/herb/nutrient interactions. Many NDs receive additional certification in disciplines such as midwifery, acupuncture, Oriental medicine, cancer treatment, and environmental medicine.
Naturopathic physicians work in private practice or in integrated settings with oth