Naturopathic Medical Doctors (NMD) are licensed primary care physicians who have training in conventional medicine in addition to extensive education in nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, herbal medicine, TCM, homeopathy and physical medicine. The core of their philosophy is to identify and treat the underlying cause of disease, not just palliate symptoms.
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The Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
There are many natural substances that have the innate ability to influence healing within the body. The physician must respect the natural laws of health and healing and always strive to treat in accordance with these laws.
Symptoms are often the result of the body’s natural attempt to heal. The physician must always strive to identify and remove the origin of disease, not simply address symptoms.
Multiple factors contribute to health and disease and all must be considered when treating the whole person. Physicians provide flexible treatment programs to meet individual health care needs.
The physician’s major role is to educate, empower, and motivate patients to take responsibility for their own health. Creating a healthy, cooperative relationship with the patient has strong therapeutic value.
Naturopathic physicians are preventive medicine specialists. Physicians assess patient risk factors and heredity susceptibility and intervene appropriately to reduce risk and prevent illness. Prevention of disease is best accomplished through education and a lifestyle that supports health.
Who should see a Naturopathic Medical Doctor?
Anyone who is suffering from a chronic medical condition or those who simply want to improve their current state of health and prevent disease as they age. No matter what your current state of health, everyone can benefit from seeing a naturopath.
What training do Naturopathic Medical Doctors receive?
As primary care physicians, they have completed an undergraduate education and four years of post-graduate medical school.
“After completion of standard premedical undergraduate coursework, a naturopathic physician attends a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an M.D. but also studies holistic and natural approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling (to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in support of their personal health). The naturopathic program includes two full years of supervised clinical training. Completion of optional residency is also available to some graduates. A naturopathic physician takes a rigorous national licensing examination so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician.” ~ Excerpted from The Princeton Review’s “Best 168 Medical Schools”
What kind of treatments do Naturopathic Medical Doctors use?
Treatments are individualized for each patient with the whole health picture taken into account. The most commonly used treatments include dietary and lifestyle recommendations, nutritional supplements, botanical medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, pharmaceutical drugs and physical medicine.