naturopathic medicine

"Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healingprocess.  The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods."

accredited + licensed

Naturopathic doctors must complete a 4-5 year program at one of the nation's accredited universities. The first two years of naturopathic medical education are almost exactly the same as conventional medical education, including all the basic sciences. The last 2-3 years of naturopathic medical school include intensive clinical training and additional training in herbal medicine, counseling, nutrition, physical medicine, and homeopathy. Click here to see a comparison of naturopathic and conventional medical school.

After education is completed, naturopathic students must pass stringent board examinations by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE), and must be licensed within the states they practice.

medicine based on principles

Naturopathic medicine is based on six principles under which its physicians strive to operate: 

  • The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.

  • Identify and Treat the Causes (ToIle Causam): The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.

  • First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:

    • Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
    • Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and
    • Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process. 
  • Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship. 

  • Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development. 

  • Prevention: Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.