What is a Naturopathic Physician?
A naturopathic physician (ND) is an expert in natural medicine. NDs blend natural, non-toxic therapies with current advancements in the study of health and human systems, covering all aspects of family health from prenatal to geriatric care. They are committed to using cutting edge medical knowledge and tools to resolve their patients’ health issues and to create health solutions that can be uniquely tailored to each individual patient’s needs.
NDs focus to find the underlying cause of the patient's condition rather than looking solely on symptomatic treatment. They collaborate with all branches of medicine referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate. NDs take the time to listen to their patients’ needs and provide them with the space and answers they need to feel cared for and supported and to enable patients to take control of their health.
Currently, 20 states and territories license NDs to practice. Licensed NDs are graduates of four-year naturopathic medical schools with admissions requirements comparable to those of other medical schools. Degrees are awarded after extensive classroom, clinical and practical study. Medical science coursework includes cardiology, neurology, radiology, obstetrics, gynecology, immunology, dermatology, and pediatrics.
NDs are trained to perform or order physical exams, laboratory testing, gynecological exams, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis, allergy testing, X-ray exams, and other diagnostic tests. They are the only physicians clinically trained in the use of a wide variety of natural therapeutics. Naturopathic medicine is effective in treating most health problems, both acute and chronic. Some of the therapies used by NDs are listed here.
Clinical Nutrition is a cornerstone of naturopathic medicine. It refers to the practice of using food to maintain health, the therapeutic use of food to treat illness, and the utilization of targeted vitamin and nutrient therapy, given orally and by IV, as part of their treatment plans.
Homeopathy is a powerful system of medicine that is more than 200 years old. This medical system uses highly diluted natural substances to treat illness. Some conditions that do not respond well to conventional medicine will respond to homeopathy.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Botanical Medicine is also known as herbal medicine and is the use of plants as medicine. Many plant substances are powerful, safe, and effective medicines when used properly. Many of today’s medications, originated from herbal sources.
Physical Medicine includes naturopathic manipulation of the muscles, bones and spine. Application of hot and cold, gentle electrical impulses, therapeutic ultrasound, hydrotherapy, and exercise therapy are also used.
Counseling and Stress Management is offered by NDs. Mental attitudes and emotional states can be important elements in healing illness, and NDs are trained in counseling, biofeedback, and other mind-body techniques.
Minor Surgery includes repair of superficial wounds and removal of foreign bodies, cysts and other superficial masses, with local anesthesia as needed.
Top Reasons for Seeing an ND
- Adrenal Fatigue/Chronic Fatigue
- Chronic Disease like Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes
- Food and Environmental Allergies
- Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS and gas/bloating
- General Primary Care
- Hormonal Balancing, menopausal symptoms, low testosterone
- Mood Disorders like Anxiety and Depression
- Weight Control