What Is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathy, or Naturopathic Medicine, is a holistic system of alternative medicine. Naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) strive to understand the body globally and treat the whole person, rather than only treating a disease, or its symptoms.
Once considered more anecdotal than substantive, Naturopathic Medicine elements are now part of integrated treatments at prestigious specialized medical centers. The short list includes Sloane Kettering, Mass General, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Winthrop University Hospital, Dana Farber, The Mayo Clinic.
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct health care profession that emphasizes prevention, treatment, and the achievement of optimal health. This type of medicine blends safe, centuries-old knowledge with modern, science-based natural treatments. It utilizes various natural medicines, clinical nutrition, botanical pharmacology (herbs), homeopathy and physical medicine, among other tools. The overall goal is to remove any obstacles from your body that prevents it from healing itself.
How Are Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine Credentialed?
Naturopathic Doctors (ND), or Naturopathic Physicians, are licensed physicians who have attended an accredited four-year graduate level Naturopathic medical school. The admissions and requirements are comparable to that of other medical schools. Additionally, NDs will go through vigorous clinical training in both naturopathic and conventional medicines. Also, before they can earn the title of Naturopathic Doctor/Physician, an ND must pass rigorous professional board exams (Basic Science Board Exams after 2 years and Clinical Science Board Exams upon graduation). It is only at this point that an ND can be licensed by the state in which they practice.
What Distinguishes Naturopathic Medicine from Conventional Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine recognizes and enlists an inherent self-healing process in people. Fittingly, it uses the least force necessary to diagnose treat and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than merely eliminate or suppress symptoms. The methods and medicinal substances utilized favor minimizing the risk of harmful side effects. Treatment includes taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and spiritual health, as well as other factors. As importantly, Naturopathic Physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health.