The origins of all medicine date back to the 5th century BC with Hippocrates who conceived of the mind-body connection. He focused his treatments on lifestyle and diet changes, water applications, bodywork and manipulation, and plant medicines. The earliest naturopathic doctors excelled in treating patients with these approaches to restore the body to health. Today's naturopathic doctors (NDs) continue to blend these centuries-old natural, non-toxic therapies with current advances in the study of health and human systems, covering all aspects of family health from prenatal to geriatric care.
Naturopathic medicine is not just symptom management, but rather, a journey to optimal wellness. Patients who are on-board to address the cause have much more success in finding cure to their ailments. Naturopathic doctors assist patients with natural therapies as to not only relieve symptoms but to reconstruct beneficial patterns for a healthier lifestyle. This medicine gives each patient individualized care while treating the whole person. Every patient has their own story, their own path of wellness.
Naturopathic physicians base their practice on six timeless principles founded on medical tradition and scientific evidence. 1. First Do No Harm 2. Identify and Treat the Cause 3. Treat the Whole Person 4. The Body Has Inherent Wisdom to Heal 5. Doctor as Teacher 6. Prevention is Cure
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) licensed health care providers trained to provide primary care. Like medical doctors (MDs), NDs have completed an undergraduate college degree followed by a four-year doctorate degree at a fully-accredited naturopathic medical school. The education includes basic medical sciences, conventional diagnostic and treatment methods, as well as natural therapeutics including nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, counseling, and natural manipulation therapy. In addition to training in the classroom, two to three years of clinical training is a critical component to ND’s professional training. An ND takes two sets of professional board exams to become licensed as a primary care physician in their respective state.
Below is a chart comparing accredited naturopathic medical school curriculum with conventional medical school and other natural health trainings.