Naturopathy & Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct and comprehensive system of health care that uses traditional healing wisdom and natural remedies with modern medical knowledge to support and stimulate the body’s self-healing process to achieve health and wellness.
The naturopathic medicine approach to healthcare is to hear each patient’s story, understand their unique health presentation and address each health concern. After thorough clinical evaluation and diagnosis, a comprehensive, individualized treatment program is created drawing from various natural remedies to produce the safest and most effective therapeutic outcome.
In states with licensing laws, it is important to distinguish between naturopathic physicians who have received graduate-level education and training from an accredited four-year medical school and traditional naturopaths. While traditional naturopaths are considered healers, they have limited scope of practice and training, therefore, they are health consultants, not doctors. The terms alternative doctors, naturopaths and naturopathic doctors are often used synonymously.
Naturopathic doctors unlike traditional naturopaths are licensed primary care physicians trained to diagnose and treat acute and chronic medical conditions. In the state of California, Naturopathic Doctors can write prescription independently for Bioidentical hormones as well as synthetic hormones.
Naturopathic doctors attend one of only four accredited naturopathic medical schools in the country. Naturopathic doctors are required to complete four-year, graduate-level medical education and training that involves 2 years of medical sciences and 2 years of clinical science with emphasis in clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, pharmacology, and minor surgery.
Graduates from an accredited naturopathic medical college must pass national board licensing examinations in order to practice medicine in one of the 14 licensed states. In these states, doctors are required to graduate from an approved four-year naturopathic medical school and pass a postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX) in order to receive a license. Licensed naturopathic physicians must also fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements annually. In California, licensing is regulated by the California Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine, which defines the scope of practice for naturopathic doctors.
In states with licensing laws, it is important to distinguish between naturopathic physicians who have received graduate-level education and training from an accredited four-year medical school and traditional naturopaths with only correspondence or online training. While traditional naturopaths are considered healers, they have limited scope of practice and training, therefore, they are health consultants, not doctors.
Naturopathic doctors are licensed primary care physicians trained to diagnose and treat acute and chronic medical conditions following the principles of naturopathic medicine. Our strong belief in the self-healing ability of each individual guides our approach to treatment. As experts in natural medicine, we utilize a variety of therapeutic modalities which are the most efficient, use the least force necessary and provide the most effective therapeutic outcome.
First Do No Harm
Naturopathic medicine provides the most effective therapeutic outcome using the least force necessary to restore health while avoiding harmful side effects and suppression of symptoms.
The Healing Power of Nature
Every living organism has an ability to heal itself. Naturopathic doctors aim to support and facilitate the self-healing process within each individual by using methods in harmony with this natural healing power.
Identify and Treat the Cause
Naturopathic doctors do not just treat symptoms, but rather use them as a guide to recognize and remove underlying causes of illness.
Doctor as Teacher
Naturopathic doctors encourage patients to take an active role in their health and act as a guide along their path to wellness. They provide you with the tools and resources necessary to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic doctors take into account every aspect of a person’s health. We create individualized treatment plans based on the physical, mental, emotional, environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors unique to each individual. We also order laboratory tests and imaging studies as needed and collaborate with other health care practitioners or refer patients to specialists when appropriate.
The key to maintaining lifelong health and wellness is strengthening the components that support healthy living and minimizing risk factors that predispose individuals to disease.