The Holistic Health Care Principles of Naturopathic Doctors
Naturopathic doctors base the practice of holistic health care on 6 principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and continually reexamined in light of scientific analysis.
1. First Do No Harm: Safe and effective natural therapies are used to promote health and minimize the risk of harmful side-effects.
2. The Healing Power of Nature: Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in the person that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic medical physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanisms.
3. Discover and Treat the Cause: Naturopathic medical physicians seek to discover and address the underlying cause of a disease, as opposed to just treating symptoms. Symptoms are not the root cause of illness.
4. Treat the Whole Person: Holistic medicine considers multiple factors of health and disease, taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, spiritual and other factors.
5. Doctor as Teacher: The naturopathic doctor’s role is one of education and empowerment, encouraging personal responsibility. Your naturopath is a doctor, teacher, counselor, coach, and partner in the quest for health and wellness.
6. Prevention: Prevention truly is the best cure. Naturopathic doctors assess risk factors, determine susceptibility to disease, and define appropriate lifestyle modifications to halt or prevent illness. The emphasis is on building health, not just fighting disease.
Education and Licensure for Naturopathic Doctors
Educated and licensed Naturopathic Doctors must attend a rigorous four-year graduate level medical program at an accredited naturopathic medical school. Admissions requirements are comparable to those of conventional medical schools, which require a bachelor’s degree and pre-med courses. The ND course of study includes approximately 4,500 hours of academic and clinical training. The program leads to a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree.
During the first two years of study, naturopathic doctors are trained in the same basic science and clinical applications as conventional medical students, including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, and microbiology. In the second two years, ND students take courses in conventional medical fields such as cardiology, neurology, gynecology, pediatrics, and dermatology. Naturopathic doctors are also trained to interpret lab work, as well as pharmaceutical medications.
Extensive training in holistic health care, nontoxic therapies, disease prevention and optimizing wellness is also required. Naturopathic doctors must intern for two years under the close supervision of licensed doctors in a clinical setting. This hands-on application of knowledge with actual patients complements and solidifies classroom learning into practical skills of health and healing.
Holistic Health Care Services Offered By Naturopathic Doctors
Naturopathic medicine involves a number of different holistic health care approaches and modalities. Natural medicine and treatment programs are designed to support and strengthen the body’s healing abilities.
Supplement Streamlining and Guidance: Naturopathic doctors can help you negotiate the huge world of vitamins and supplements to make sure you get the best quality, form, and potency of recommended supplements.
All Natural Weight Loss: Naturopathic medial physicians can assist with all natural weight loss programs that provide individualized, structured support to help patients lose weight and maintain weight loss long-term. Holistic nutrition teaches how to eat real foods in proper balance, lose fat while protecting muscle mass, and identify food allergies or sensitivities that may contribute weight gain.
Allergy Screening & Desensitization: Electrodermal Screening (EDS) and acupressure help desensitize patients to potential allergens. This holistic therapy is safe, non-invasive, inexpensive and highly effective.
Classical Homeopathic Medicine: Naturopathic doctors use homeopathic medicine to stimulate a healing response. It is very effective for both acute and chronic conditions.
Body Detoxification and Cleansing: In our modern world the burden of toxic pollution, drugs, pesticides, heavy metals, smoke, hormones, and food preservatives threaten to overwhelm our body’s natural detoxification mechanisms. Naturopathic medicine helps the body clear toxic build up.
Herbal Medicine: Plants have been used medicinally for thousands of years for their healing properties, and are the origins of many pharmaceutical drugs. Naturopathic doctors use plant and herbal medicine to facilitate natural healing.
Diet and Nutrition: The idea that food is the best medicine is a cornerstone of naturopathic medicine. Many medical conditions can be treated effectively through proper diet and nutritional supplements with fewer complications and side effects.
Hydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy is the use of water, ice, steam, and hot and cold temperatures to maintain and restore health. Hydrotherapy is effective for a wide range of conditions and easily in self-care programs.
Lifestyle Counseling and Coaching: Mental and emotional wellness is integral to physical health. Naturopathic doctors educate patients on healthy lifestyle practices including exercise, sleep, environmental exposures, and stress management. Naturopathic doctors formulate plans for optimal health and empower patients.
Mind-Body Medicine: Naturopathic doctors recognize the profound interconnection of mind and body, the body’s innate healing capabilities, and the role of self-responsibility in the healing process. Mind/body medicine utilizes a wide range of modalities, including guided imagery and meditation.
Naturopathic doctors can help patients of all kinds create a holistic health care plan to heal chronic issues, prevent future illness and support a healthy lifestyle naturally. This whole body approach leads to long term wellness and better quality of life.