What is Naturopathic Medicine?

The science of Naturopathic Medicine is a system of assessing, diagnosing, and treating disease. It shares with biomedicine a western appreciation of anatomy and physiology. It differs in that there is a distinct philosophy grounded in therapeutics designed to support the body in its best possible function. Naturopathic doctors encourage a person’s innate ability to heal oneself. Given its best support, the body is the best mediator of self-healing. This innate ability allows for restoration to optimal health given the conditions and environment to do so. For this reason, Naturopathy is excellent kindred and therapeutic companion of Oriental medicine. Naturopathic doctors work to identify and eliminate the barriers to achieving this. Often a person suffers from symptoms that are actually only a superficial manifestation of something deeper. The focus of the Naturopathic doctor is always to look further than symptoms that appear on the surface and find the root cause of the condition. When the underlying cause of disease is eliminated many recurrent conditions find permanent resolve. There are many factors that affect a person’s health and wellbeing. The holistic stance of Naturopathic medicine examines all aspects of an individual’s life that may play a role in the disease process. These may include physical, dietary, emotional, and genetic factors in addition to a person’s spiritual development. The doctor will also work to identify and assess risk factors for each individual, in order to effectively prevent disease before the disease state manifests. In states that license Naturopathic doctors, the physician must have attended an accredited 4-year graduate medical training program and must pass multiple professional and state board examinations before being licensed to practice. The training programs are comparable to those of conventional medical doctors, but in addition to the basic medical sciences emphasis is placed on the study of homeopathy, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, and physical medicine, through a holistic and preventative health care model.