Naturopathic Medicine is a system of primary health care focusing on wellness, education, and prevention by identifying the root cause. A naturopath utilizes conventional medical assessment and laboratory diagnostics combined with a broad range of alternative modalities. Naturopathic Medicine is a vital component of health care of which treatments can be utilized on their own or concurrently with conventional health care. Naturopathic Medicine focuses on the disease process in comparison to isolating it as an entity.
Naturopathic medicine is a diverse system of primary health care that strives to support the body’s own ability to heal. Modalities of treatment may include acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine, orthomolecular medicine, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, clinical nutrition, nutritional therapies, intravenous therapies, and lifestyle counseling.
Whereas an allopathic approach seeks cure (based on some objective criteria), a naturopathic approach aims for healing which will be based in large part on subjective (the patient’s) criteria. Consequently there will not be a single measure of outcome, but a pattern of healing that includes physical, emotional, and social functioning.
– Christa Louise –
Naturopathic Doctors (ND) are rigorously trained as primary health care providers through one of seven accredited institutions across North America. Students must complete an undergraduate degree of pre-medical university training then complete four years post-graduate education at an accredited naturopathic medical school.
Naturopathic medical education entails comprehensive studies of basic clinical sciences (approximately 1500 hours), standard medical therapeutics including pharmacology, family medicine, internal medicine, (approximately 1900 hours) and thorough training in naturopathic modalities.
Upon completion of their medical training, naturopathic physicians complete standardized board exams set by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examination, in addition to local jurisdictional board exams, dependent on where licensure is sought. To complement medical training, many NDs further their training with additional certifications and exams in specific areas of practice such as intravenous therapy and chelation (Naturopathic Modalities), or particular patient populations such as pediatrics, obstetrics or chronic disease.