What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct primary health care profession that combines the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Naturopathic physicians are trained as primary care providers who diagnose, treat and manage patients with acute and chronic conditions, while addressing disease and dysfunction at the level of body, mind and spirit.
They concentrate on whole patient wellness through health promotion and disease prevention, attempting to find the underlying cause of the patient’s condition. Naturopathic physicians care for patients of all ages and genders. They provide individualized evidence-informed therapies that balance the least harmful and most effective approaches to help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health.
A resurgence of interest in naturopathic healing in North America in the 1970s resulted in rapid growth and maturation of the naturopathic profession to where it is today. As of 2016 there are seven naturopathic doctoral medical institutions offering degrees in eight locations across North America.
The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) is the accrediting body for these programs. Graduates of CNME accredited naturopathic medical institutions are eligible to sit for the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination (NPLEX)
Yanez, J. (2014). Naturopathic Medicine Therapeutic Order Graphic. Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges. Adapted from:
Zeff, J. Snider, P. Myers, P. DeGrandpre, Z. (2013, January). A Hierarchy of Healing: The Therapeutic Order A Unifying Theory of Naturopathic Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273634914_A_Hierarchy_of_Healing_The_Therapeutic_Order_A_Unifying_Theory_of_Naturopathic_Medicine
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What Does a Naturopathic Doctor Do?
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The Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
- First, Do No Harm
Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
- The Healing Power of Nature
Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself.
- Identify and Treat the Causes
Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause.
- Doctor as Teacher
Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
- Treat the Whole Person
View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions.
Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.