What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is traditional medicine. It is the type of medicine practiced centuries ago by Native Americans, medicine men and women of ancient cultures and tribes such as the Peruvian Shamans, Chinese, Russians and Europeans in addition to many African tribes today. Naturopathic Medicine is the use of Earth’s elements and plants, knowledge and intuition to heal the four bodies – mental body, physical body, emotional body and energetic, spiritual or etheric bodies.
What does ND stand for?
* also licensed as “NMD- Naturopathic Medical Doctor”
What is an ND?
ND’s are fully licensed primary care doctors (full medical school training as a family care medical doctor) with additional training and focus on alternative ways of healing for the “perfectly healthy” and the “chronically ill”.
When working with patients, ND’s work off the “wellness model” vs. the “sick model”. Meaning we treat our patients when they are sick and also when they are healthy as a way to prevent future illness. Naturopathic Doctors establish a long-term relationship with their patients by checking in with them monthly to better provide you with the best medical care out there. This relationship enables the ND to always be assessing what changes and challenges each patient is being presented with in life and how your mind, body and spirit is adapting or reacting to the stresses/changes to better understand each patients’ whole person and whole health picture.
Then once we have moved you to a place of wellness where you are “symptom free”, the real fun of natural medicine begins!!! At this point we can really dive into the ROOT CAUSE of WHY you presented with ______ symptom and shift you to an even deeper level of health and wellness as well as prevent any future disharmony (ie: those symptoms returning, even if it is 20+ years later). This is also an opportunity for us to continue treating on the energetic and spiritual plan to continue shifting your health to a unique and truly freeing level. See my health thermometer on the home page to see what level 1 health feels like to you!
What are some of our modalities?
Naturopathic Doctors are fluent in homeopathy (a form of energy medicine), botanical medicine (plant based medicine), flower essence, counseling, nutrition, chiropractic, vitamin/mineral supplementation, exercise and physical therapy modalities. We are also trained in eastern philosophy, which bleeds into Chinese Medical theory (Acupuncture), chakra balancing, essential oil therapy, Ayurvedic medicine and biotherapeutic drainage therapy.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine:
~ First Do No Harm
~ Identify and Treat the Cause
~ Treat the Whole Person
~ The Body Has Inherent Wisdom to Heal
~ Doctor Means Teacher
~ Prevention is Cure
What separates MD’s from ND’s?
Treatment modalities and philosophy!
MD’s are well versed in pharmaceuticals and work off the “sick model”- ie: I only see you when you are sick. When you present with symptom A, I give you drug A.
ND’s, although we can prescribe pharmaceuticals, California ND’s do not have full prescription rights and we are trained heavily on different plants, supplements, food and energy medicine (homeopathy, flower essence and more) can shift your chronic or acute illness. Natural medicine is equally, if not MORE effective than pharmaceuticals when prescribed correctly.
Naturopathic Doctor’s Education:
After obtaining a bachelors degree and completing all your pre-med requirements, you are eligible to apply for admission to a Naturopathic Medical College. During your education process you will take two rounds of National Board Exams- Basic Science and Clinical Application.
During your academic career you are highly educated in the fields of Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathology, Microbiology, Histology, Pharmacology, Nutrition, Gynecology, Orthopedics, HENT, Neurology, Cardiology, Pulmonology, Hematology, Genetics, Pediatrics, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Environmental Medicine, Internal Medicine, Minor Surgery, Chiropractic, Hydrotherapy, Botanical Medicine, Flower Essence, Homeopathy, Counseling, Psychology, Rheumatology, Chinese Medical theory, IV therapy, diagnostic techniques, lab diagnosis and imaging. In addition to required elective hours, clinical hours, precepting hours and internship hours to become a fully licensed naturopathic doctor.
~ Diagnostic Techniques ~
ND’s are trained to perform, order and interpret proper physical exams, laboratory testing, imaging (x-ray, ultrasound, CAT and PET scans, EKG reads and more) as well as being trained in many specialized and functional testing such as EAV testing, specialized lab tests and blood analysis.
~ Therapeutic Techniques ~
Botanical Medicine and Flower Essence: Plant based medicine is a powerful source of Earth Medicine where isolated plant properties are used to heal the presenting symptoms while synergistically working on balancing out the entire bodies chemistry.
Clinical Nutrition: Food is the best medicine and is a cornerstone of naturopathic practice. Many medical conditions can be treated effectively with foods and nutritional supplements, with fewer complications and side effects. NDs use diet, natural hygiene, fasting and nutritional supplementation in their practices.
Homeopathic Medicine: Homeopathic medicine is the treatment of disease/symptoms using correctly prescribed, minimal doses of natural substances (plant, animal, mineral), which if taken in larger doses, would cause disease/symptoms—the acting principle being “like cures like.” It promotes the return to health on physical, mental and spiritual levels.
Mind/Body Medicine: Mental attitudes and emotional states may influence or even cause physical illness. Counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, biofeedback, biotherapeutic drainage, chakra balance and gemstone therapy and many many more therapies are used to help patients heal psychologically.
Minor Surgery: Naturopathic physicians do in-office minor surgery, including repair of superficial wounds and removal of foreign bodies, cysts and other superficial lesions.
Chinese Medicine: Within the ND program, Chinese medicine is a healing philosophy that is complementary to naturopathic medicine. Chinese medical theory offers an important understanding of the unity of the body and mind, while adding to the Western understanding of physiology and therapies.
Physical Medicine: Naturopathic medicine has its own methods of therapeutic manipulation of soft tissue, muscles, bones and spine. NDs also trained to use ultrasound, diathermy, exercise, massage, water, heat and cold, and other gentle electrical therapies in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and pain.
IV Therapy: Intravenous and intramuscular injections of micro- and macronutrients is used for many purposes, from simple nutritional support to detoxification procedures in cases of poisonings, and specific treatment of both chronic and acute diseases.
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