Naturopathic medicine blends centuries-old natural, non-toxic therapies with current advances in the study of health and human systems, covering all aspects of family health from prenatal to geriatric care.
A Naturopathic Doctor (ND) is a primary care general practitioner trained as an expert in natural medicine. Naturopathic medicine concentrates on whole-patient wellness the medicine is tailored to the patient and emphasizes prevention and self-care. Naturopathic medicine attempts to find the underlying cause of the patients condition rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment. For example, a food allergy or an environmental factor a naturopathic doctor would focus diagnosis and treatment on these causal factors, might cause congestion. Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all other branches of medical science referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.
Naturopathic medicine has been a distinct American health care profession for over 100 years. In the late 1800s, practitioners from several medical disciplines combined to form the first naturopathic professional societies. By the early 20th century, more than 20 naturopathic medical colleges had been founded in the US, and naturopathic doctors were licensed in a majority of states. By the 1920s, naturopathic medical conventions attracted more than 10,000 practitioners.
Naturopathic medicine experienced a decline in the middle of the 20th century with the rise of technological medicine, pharmaceutical drugs and the quick fix idea that drugs and surgery could eliminate all diseases. Over the last three decades, however, a health conscious public has increasingly sought alternatives to conventional medical philosophy.