Naturopathic Physicians are primary health care practitioners.
They are trained to be the doctor first seen by the patient for general health care, for advice on keeping healthy, and for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions. They also serve those whose treatment by conventional means has not met their needs and who seek naturopathic care as an alternative.
The current scope of naturopathic practice includes but not limited to:
Naturopathic practice excludes the use of most synthetic drugs and major surgery.
The majority of Naturopathic Physician’s are in general, private practice.
Some ND. (Naturopathic Doctor), NMD (Naturopathic Medical Doctor) ‘s, however, choose to emphasize particular treatment modalities, or may concentrate on particular medical fields
-Pediatrics, gynecology, allergies, arthritis, etc.
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinctively natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the integrity of the whole person. Naturopathic Medicine is heir to the vitalistic tradition of medicine in the western world, emphasizing the treatment of disease through the stimulation process. The physician’s of actions can support or antagonize the actions of the vise medicatrix natural. Therefore, methods designed to suppress symptoms without removing underlying causes are considered harmful and are avoided or minimized.
Treat the whole person. The multifactorial Nature of health and disease.
Health and disease are conditions of the whole organism, a whole involving a complex interaction of physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. The physician must treat the whole person by taking all of these factors into account. The harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual is essential to recovery from and prevention of disease, and requires a personalized and comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.
The physician as teacher.
Beyond and accurate diagnosis and appropriate prescription, the physician must work to create a healthy, sensitive interpersonal relationship with the patient. A cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value. The physician’s major role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for health. The physician is a catalyst for healthful change, empowering and motivating the patient to assume responsibility. It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately creates- accomplishes healing. The physician must strive to inspire hope as well as understanding. The physician must also make a commitment in order to be a good teacher.
Naturopathic philosophy serves as the basis for naturopathic practice. The current scope of naturopathic practice includes but is not limited to:
That food is the best medicine is a cornerstone of naturopathic practice. Many medical conditions can be treated more effectively with foods and nutritional supplements than they can by other means, with fewer complications and side effects. Naturopathic physicians use dietetics, natural hygiene, fasting, and nutritional supplementation in practice.
Many plant substances-Clinical Nutrition are powerful medicines. Where single chemically derived drug may only address a single problem, botanical medicines are able to address a variety of problems simultaneously. Their organic nature makes botanical compatible with the body’s own chemistry; hence, they can be gently effective with few toxic side effects.
Homeopathic medicine is based on the principle of “like cures like”. It works on a subtle yet powerful electromagnetic level, gently acting to strengthen the body’s healing and immune response.
Naturopathic Medicine has its own methods of therapeutic manipulation of muscles, bones, and spine. NMD, ND’s also use ultrasound, diathermy, exercise, massage, water, heat and cold, air and gentle electrical pulses.
Oriental Medicine is a complimentary healing philosophy to naturopathic medicine. Meridian theory offers an important understanding of the unity of the body and mind, and adds to the western understanding of physiology. Acupuncture provides a method of treatment which can unify and harmonize the imbalances present in disease conditions, which, if untreated, can result in illness.
Naturopathic physicians provide natural childbirth care in an out-of-hospital setting. They offer prenatal and postnatal care using modern diagnostic techniques. The naturopathic approach strengthens healthy body functions so that complications associated with pregnancy may be prevented.
Mental attitudes and emotional states may influence, or even cause, physical illness. Counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, and other therapies are used to help patients heal the psychological level.
The ultimate goal of any health care system should be prevention. This is accomplished through education and promotion of life-habits that create food health. The physician assesses risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and makes appropriate intervention to avoid further harm and risk to the patient. The emphasis is on building health rather than on fighting disease.