You might be one of millions of Americans who will ask, what in the world is Naturopathic Medicine? You might be surprised to hear that it’s most likely something you practice daily. Long story short, its focus is on the promotion and maintenance of health and well-being, and to prevent disease, disability, and death. Sounds like something most people would be interested in, especially considering the state of our current health care system. Modern medicine is incredible, but there is definitely room for improvement in the United States health care system. One improvement would be to make Naturopathic Medicine more assessable in health care plans. It’s not even an option for many health insurance plans even though Naturopathic Doctors receive almost exactly the same education as a Medical Doctor.
WHAT IS A NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR?
Naturopathic Doctors combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science to restore health. They focus on holistic health and proactive prevention when working with each unique individual. The goal of using a holistic approach (treating the whole person) is to create a healthy environment inside and outside the body to facilitate one’s inherent ability to heal itself. This can only be achieved by first determining the root cause of your health issue which is the first objective for a Naturopathic Doctor. It is the Naturopathic Doctors role to identify and remove barriers to good health and to use protocols that minimize the risk of harm to achieve optimal health.
Naturopathic Doctors are required to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university and proper prerequisite premedical coursework before being accepted into a four-year Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine program at an accredited medical college. During the four years of education, Naturopathic Doctors take Basic Science and Clinical Science Classes based on evidence-based medicine. The first three years comprise of intensive scientific and medical training followed by a one-year clinical internship where students must meet specific requirements of patient care in a timely manner before being eligible to graduate. All Naturopathic Doctors are required to pass National Board Exams, phase 1 and 2 of Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX), which are a collection of standardized examinations utilized by all regulatory boards across North America.
THE 6 PRINCIPALS OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE
- Do No Harm
Support the healing systems inherent in the body by using methods, medicines and techniques that are in harmony with natural processes.
- The Healing Power of Nature
Preference for noninvasive treatments which minimize the risks of harmful side effects. Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself by naturally supporting the body’s biochemistry and cellular physiology.
- Identify the Cause
Every illness has an underlying cause, often in aspects of lifestyle, diet, or in the surrounding environment. Naturopaths are trained to find and remove the underlying cause of a disease. A deep understanding of biochemistry and cellular physiology is vital in determining the root cause of the problem.
- Look at the Whole Person
View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical dimensions. Every individual is unique, so every plan should be unique to the individual.
- Doctor as Teacher
Educate patients in achieving and maintaining health.
Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.