Why Become a Holistic Doctor?
Many people find satisfaction in a career as a holistic doctor because it empowers them to make a meaningful, positive impact on peoples’ lives, be challenged and learn on a daily basis, achieve financial stability and security, and maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Holistic Healing Areas of Practice
Acupuncture is an ancient treatment, originating in China, where very thin needles are inserted into the body at specific points and manipulated by the practitioner in order to stimulate the body’s healing processes. Acupuncture is a common practice included in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM also includes a variety of other healing practices, including cupping, gua sha, acupressure, tai chi, qigong, botanical medicine, nutrition, and more.
Holistic health practitioners with a focus on nutrition help patients improve their health by evaluating their diet and suggesting nutrition plans tailored to the individual. What we eat can have a major impact on both physical and mental health, which is why many holistic health professionals provide nutritional advice and information to their patients.
Herbal medicine incorporates the medicinal properties of various herbs and botanicals to address myriad health concerns. Many holistic practitioners study the healing properties of herbs and will recommend the use of herbal teas, supplements or tinctures to help patients address particular issues.
Massage therapy can be extremely beneficial to health and is used to improve mental wellbeing, treat insomnia, reduce back pain, and more. There are a number of different types of massage, including deep tissue massage, aromatherapy massage, Thai and Ayurvedic massage. Different massage therapists may focus on particular types of massage or offer a few options as part of their approach.
Naturopathic medicine is a type of holistic healing practice that combines the rigors of modern science with the wisdom of nature. Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) go through an extensive training process in order to become primary care physicians with the ability to diagnose and treat patients suffering from acute and chronic conditions. NDs address illness through body, mind, and spirit and follow The Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine.
The Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
First Do No Harm
“First do no harm” refers to the ND’s commitment to providing patients with gentle, non-invasive treatments that will not cause any type of harm. NDs approach patient care by utilizing natural therapies that honor the wisdom of nature and the body’s own healing abilities. Because they are so gentle, treatments recommended by naturopathic doctors can often be safely used on their own or in conjunction with allopathic medicine.
The Healing Power of Nature
Naturopathic doctors recognize the value of nature in the healing process. They often recommend the use of natural substances, such as herbal supplements, to address health concerns. NDs also take the environment into account when diagnosing and treating patients and will help people incorporate a healthy natural environment into their lives.
Identify and Treat the Causes
While an ND will help patients manage symptoms through treatment, they go deeper and search for the root cause of a given symptom. Naturopathic medicine is a holistic practice that delves into the underlying reason a symptom is occurring in order to address the cause.
Doctor as Teacher
Naturopathic doctors are committed to promoting health literacy in their patients. This means that NDs educate their patients and empower them to understand and take charge of their own health through knowledge of health, nutrition, and the body. The word “doctor” comes from the Latin word docere, which means “to teach.” NDs believe that medical professionals have an obligation to teach as well as treat their patients.
Treat the Whole Person
NDs look at the body as a whole and acknowledge its interconnectedness. An ND will investigate possible connections between symptoms that may not seem related on first look, and will examine the impact of lifestyle, diet, and environment on the person as a whole.
Naturopathic medicine takes a focus on preventing illness whenever possible through promoting a healthy lifestyle and nutrition plan tailored to each individual patient. NDs use each principle of Naturopathic Medicine to identify and treat potential areas of imbalance in order to help patients feel healthy and reduce the likelihood of developing further health issues later.
Accredited Holistic Medicine Schools in North America
- Bastyr University - San Diego Campus
- Bastyr University - Seattle Campus
- Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) - Boucher Campus
- Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) - Toronto Campus
- National University of Health Sciences (NUHS)
- National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM)
- Sonoran University of Health Sciences
Degrees & Certificates Offered
- Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
- Master of Science in Midwifery
- Master of Science in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology
- Nutrition (with optional Didactic Program in Dietetics)
- Master of Science in Nutrition and Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (dual degree)
- Master of Public Health
- Bachelor of Science with a Major in: Health Psychology, Herbal Sciences, Integrated Human Biology, Nutrition, Nutrition and Culinary Arts, Nutrition and Exercise Science
- Certificate in Holistic Landscape Design, Chinese Herbal Medicine
- Dietetic Internship
- Simkin Center for Allied Birth Professionals Courses for Birth Professionals
- Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
- Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine
- Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and Chiropractic Medicine (dual degree)
- Doctor of Acupuncture
- Master of Acupuncture
- Master of Acupuncture and Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (dual degree)
- Doctor of Acupuncture and Chiropractic Medicine (dual degree)
- Bachelor of Biomedical Science
- Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
- Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (First Year Online)
- Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization
- Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization
- Master of Acupuncture
- Master of Science in Nutrition
- Master of Science in Nutrition – Online
- Accelerated Bachelor to Master of Science in Nutrition
- Accelerated Bachelor to Master of Science in Nutrition – Online
- Bachelor of Science in Nutrition
- Bachelor of Science in Nutrition – Online
- Master of Science in Global Health
- Master of Science in Global Health – Online
- Master of Arts in International Development and Service
- Master of Arts in Community Organizing and Social Activism
- Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research
- Bachelor of Science in Integrative Health Science – Online