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The past 30 years has seen an extraordinary increase in consumer demand for safe, effective and cost-effective natural health care. Naturopathic medicine has emerged as the health-care profession best suited to meet this demand. Although it almost disappeared in the mid-twentieth century because of the popularity of drugs and surgery, naturopathic medicine now offers safe, effective natural therapies as a vital part of the health-care systems of North America in the twenty-first century.

Naturopathic physicians are trained in the art and science of natural health care at accredited medical colleges. Integrative partnerships between conventional medical doctors and licensed NDs are becoming more available. This cooperation makes more effective therapies available to consumers. It increases patient satisfaction in their relationships with their care providers. More people are recovering their health by adding naturopathic medicine to their health-care options.

Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

Where traditional approaches to health and sickness seek to suppress symptoms and treat every problem with a pill, the Naturopathic approach is different and unique:

  • Doctor as Teacher
    Traditional doctors today are under tremendous pressure to see as many patients as they can, as quickly as they can. This compromises the health of the patient, the relationship between the doctor and patient and the healthcare system itself.  Naturopathic medicine has retained what the traditional system has tossed out. The original meaning of the word “doctor” is teacher. Naturopaths seek to honor that by educating the patient and emphasizing the patient’s role in his/her own healing process. Naturopathic physicians understand that the doctor-patient relationship is sacred and healing unto itself.
  • Treat the Whole Person
    Human beings aren’t a collection of disconnected organs in a body without emotion or spirit. Even traditionally trained physicians know this, but the system doesn’t allow them to practice it. Naturopathic medicine recognizes the harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual – physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and even spiritual, as being essential to health. The multifactorial nature of health and disease requires a personalized and comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.
  •  Nature Has Healing Power
    All of nature, including the environment you live in, the food you put in your body, and your genetics impact every aspect of your health. Just as a poor diet can cause suffering and disease, a proper diet can be healing and even invigorating. Your genetic history can empower you, not create fear and worry. Naturopathic medicine recognizes that nature, including your body, is intelligent and can heal itself. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to support, facilitate and augment nature by identifying and removing obstacles to health and recovery, and by supporting the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
  • Identify and Treat the Cause
    The traditional healthcare system tends to view symptoms as the problem itself, instead of the expression of the problem. Therefore, sometimes they try to squash the symptom only instead of treating the underlying disease. The patient may even feel better and be happy because their problem seemingly has gone away. The naturopath knows that where there is illness, there is a reason. Therefore, the naturopathic physicians seeks out the underlying cause of the symptoms because they understand that symptoms can be expressions of the body’s attempt to defend itself, to adapt and recover, or to heal itself.
  • Do No Harm
    Naturopathic physicians follow three precepts to avoid harming the patient:
    –  Naturopathic physicians utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful effects, and apply the least possible force or intervention necessary to diagnose illness and restore health.
    –  Whenever possible the suppression of symptoms is avoided as suppression generally interferes with the healing process.
    –  Naturopathic physicians respect and work with the vis medicatrix naturae in diagnosis, treatment and counseling, for if this self -healing process is not respected the patient may be harmed.

Professional Education

A licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician also studies clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling. A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician. Please see the AANMC’s Professional Competency Profile for more information.

Additional information on naturopathic schools can be found on the American Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges Web site.

 

Patient Testimonials

I was so sick that by the time I got to Dr. Ted, I could barely function. I wanted normalcy.The whole family was suffering. Now, seeing a naturopathic doctor is just part of my life. Before finding Dr. Ted, I was seeing a chiropractor and was over supplemented. I was in a health crisis. My body is extra sensitive. Stressful things used to exhaust me, leaving me with no reserve to cope. Now that my adrenals are balanced and I have a reserve, I just keep going.
MP, Windham, OH