Naturopathic medicine is a system of medicine based on the healing power of nature, prevention, and non-invasive, natural therapeutics, natural medicines for a complete holistic health overview.
Naturopathic doctors are trained at accredited, 4-year, residential naturopathic medical colleges and pass a postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX) to become licensed. The training includes conventional medical sciences: anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, pathology, immunology, clinical and physical diagnosis, diagnostic imaging, cardiology, pediatrics, gynecology, urology, gastroenterology, and laboratory diagnosis. There is also extensive training in natural therapeutics: naturopathic medicine philosophy, clinical nutrition, detoxification, nutritional supplementation, IV therapeutics, herbal medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulative therapeutics, and counseling.
Holistic doctors are able to use conventional medical training to understand imbalances or diseases in the body. With a holistic approach, naturopathic doctors strive to understand the cause of disease by understanding the body, mind, and spirit of each patient. They are then able to support the body’s own healing abilities with the application of natural therapeutics. Also, through dietary and lifestyle counseling, the naturopathic doctor is able to empower the patient to make changes that address disease and more importantly prevent disease.
Naturopaths are guided by 6 principles of naturopathic philosophy (listed to the right).