What is Naturopathy?

Age Old Principles

Naturopathy is a system of medicine founded on the most time-tested medical principle, vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature. Under this system, the goal is to restore the natural functioning of the body through the use of substances and treatments that enhance the body’s innate healing abilities.

In naturopathic medicine, the body, mind and spirit are viewed as an integral whole, and symptoms of disease are seen as indicators of improper functioning or unfavorable lifestyle habits. A primary goal of treatment is to address the underlying cause of illness and to avoid treating symptoms.

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession that combines the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Naturopathic doctors 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 doctors 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 licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, however also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic doctor also studies clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling. A naturopathic doctor takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician in states licensed as such.

Additional information on NATUROPATHIC EDUCATION can be found on the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website.

Additional information on NATUROPATHIC MEDICAL COLLEGES can be found on the American Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges website.