What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

Naturopathic doctors are primary care physicians trained in medical diagnosis and treatment who follow five unique principles to address the cause of illness. The educational and clinical training of naturopathic doctors are similar to that of a medical or osteopathic doctor.  When possible, naturopathic doctors choose natural therapies which have few, if any, harmful side effects.  Naturopathic doctors who graduate from an accredited school receive a N.D. degree- Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

Naturopathic doctors also have extensive training in natural therapies including:

  • Botanical Medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Mind/Body
  • Medicine Clinical
  • Nutrition Medicine
  • Physical Medicine

How does naturopathic medicine differ from conventional medicine?

The profession of naturopathic medicine is unique because it’s philosophy. We differ from conventional medical doctors in that our practice us guided by the following principles:

Use the Healing Power of Nature

The simplest and wisest practice of medicine is to treat and remove the cause of illness rather than merely suppressing the symptoms.

Treat the Cause

The simplest and wisest practice of medicine is to treat and remove the cause of illness rather than merely suppressing the symptoms.

Doctor as Teacher

Naturopathic doctors educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility to achieve a state of good health.

Treat the Whole Person

Naturopathic doctors explore physical, mental, emotional, environmental, genetic and spiritual factors when treating a patient.

Emphasize Preventive Medicine

Naturopathic doctors strive to identify the factors that make one susceptible to illness and work toward preventing that illness.

History of Naturopathic Medicine

The roots of naturopathic medicine go back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greek, Indian, and European healing traditions. As a distinct American healthcare profession, naturopathic medicine is over 100 years old, tracing its origins to Dr. Benedict Lust. Dr. Lust came to the U.S. in 1896 from Germany to teach the natural healing methods practiced in Europe, and formed the first U.S. naturopathic medical school in 1898. In the 1920s, Naturopathic medical conventions attracted more than 10,000 naturopathic doctors.

There were more than 20 naturopathic medical colleges, and N.D.’s were licensed in a majority of states. Naturopathic medicine experienced a decline in the 1940’s with the rise of pharmaceutical drugs and technological medicine. The National College of Naturopathic Medicine was founded in 1956 in Portland, Oregon to keep the profession alive. Today, there are seven accredited Naturopathic Medical schools in North America.

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