AN ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE RESOURCE GUIDE
From the Alternative Medicine Foundation, Inc
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct healthcare profession that combines natural, non-toxic therapies with current advances in health and medicine. Naturopathic physicians are primary care physicians clinically trained in a wide variety of natural therapeutics, adapted to each patient, with a focus on preventive and whole patient care. Therapies used by naturopathic physicians include:
Depending on his/her interests and skills, a naturopathic physician may focus on just a few of these areas. Naturopathic physicians cooperate with all other branches of medical science, referring patients to other practitioners for treatment or diagnosis when appropriate.
The Healing Power of Nature: Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in each person that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
Identifying and Treating the Causes: The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather that to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
First, Do No Harm: To avoid harming the patient, naturopathic physicians follow three precepts:
Doctor as Teacher: Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
Treating the Whole Person: Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Since total health includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians may encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
Prevention: Emphasizing the prevention of disease, naturopathic physicians assess a patient's risk factors, heredity, and susceptibility to disease, and make appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to help prevent illness.
Education, Clinical Training and Licensing
The basic sciences component of naturopathic medical education includes: anatomy, biochemistry, cardiology, clinical & physical diagnosis, dermatology, gynecology, immunology, lab diagnostics, microbiology, minor surgery, neurology, obstetrics, pathology, pediatrics, pharmacology, physiology, and radiology. Throughout the four years, there is also training in naturopathic therapeutics, including botanical medicine, therapeutic nutrition, counseling, homeopathy, natural childbirth, hydrotherapy, physical medicine and other therapies.
Naturopathic physicians can perform physical examinations, gynecological exams, nutritional and dietary assessments, and order laboratory testing, metabolic analysis, allergy testing, X-ray examinations, and other diagnostic tests. Naturopathic physicians are trained to combine and adapt western science-based concepts to treatments that use individual based, non-toxic, natural therapies. As a result, they are able to distinguish when a referral to another branch of medical science for diagnosis and/or treatment is appropriate. In addition to their training in western medical approaches, naturopathic physicians achieve an expertise in botanical medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, and other naturopathic therapeutics.
The practice of medicine in the United States is regulated by each state. Currently, 11 states (and Puerto Rico) have licensing laws for naturopathic doctors: Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington. Each state defines the scope of practice for licensed naturopathic physicians. The following requirements must be met to attain a license in the states that offer them:
In many unlicensed states, supporters of naturopathic medicine have introduced bills and are actively working toward achieving licensure.
Research in naturopathic therapies is also being conducted at research institutes affiliated with naturopathic medical colleges. Information about the current research and lists of publications at Bastyr University Research Institute can be found at http://www.bastyr.edu/research . Bastyr's library can be reached at http://www.halcyon.com/libastyr/ . Information about research at Southwest College can be found at http://www.scnm.edu/research. The National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM) has a satellite Natural Health Sciences Research Clinic at 545 First Street, Lake Oswego, OR 97034 (503)-636-6600.
For additional resources on relevant Alternative and Complementary Resources, see our Resource Guides on:
NOTE: The following resource listings are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to be used as a guide for treatment. They are provided for information only. The resources are selected and categorized to help you with your own research:
In addition, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) lists books published by member naturopaths on their web site: http://www.naturopathic.org/media/title_index.htm
Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
American Family Physician
Official publication of the American Academy of Family Physicians
Complementary Therapies in Medicine
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Research on Paradigm, Practice, and Policy
Journal of Naturopathic Medicine
Official publication of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)
4435 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Suite 403
Washington, DC 20016
Toll free: (866)-538-2267
Phone: (202) 237-8150
Fax: (202) 237-8152
The professional organization for licensed naturopathic physicians. Contact the organization for referrals, licensing, and extensive information about naturopathy.
Council on Naturopathic Medical Education
PO Box 11426
Eugene, OR 97440-3626
The accrediting agency for naturopathic medical schools and programs in North America, the CNME accredits four-year, graduate-level programs that lead to the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D. or N.M.D.) degree.
North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE)
8948 SW Barbur Boulevard #157
Portland, OR 97219-4047
NABNE administers the NPLEX (Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations) to candidates who have met examination requirements. NABNE is an examining board only, not a credentialing or licensing board. Students and graduates of programs accredited or pre-accredited (candidacy) by CNME are eligible to apply for examinations administered by NABNE.
The following schools are accredited by the CNME (Council on Naturopathic Medical Education):
14500 Juanita Drive NE
Kenmore, WA 98028-4966
Phone: (425) 823-1300
Fax: (425) 823-6222
Practitioner Referral Line: (voicemail) (425) 602-3390
Clinic: (206) 834-4100
Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
1255 Sheppard Avenue East
North York, Ontario M2K 1E2
Phone: (416) 498-1255
Clinic: (416) 498-9763
College of Naturopathic Medicine- University of Bridgeport
60 Lafayette Street
Bridgeport, CT 06601
Phone: (203) 576-4108
Fax: (203) 576-4941
National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM)
049 SW Porter
Portland, OR 97201
Phone: (503) 499-4343
Clinic: 503-255-7355 (Eastside); 503-224-8476 (Westside)
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences
2140 East Broadway Road
Tempe, AZ 85282
Phone: (480) 858-9100
Fax: (480) 858-9116
Promotional and commercial sites are not included in this listing unless they provide significant impartial information resources.HealthWorldOnline - Naturopathy
Contains information on naturopathy under several categories, including therapeutic modalities in naturopathic medicine, naturopathic approach to specific health concerns, naturopathic medicine schools, and naturopathic resource center.
Naturopathic Medicine Network
Site includes a section for professional naturopaths, and several sections for consumers, including a a "Yellow Pages" of naturopaths graduated from accredited 4-year programs.
Informative site from a professional naturopath, Suzanne Lawton, ND
Last Updated: January 24, 2006
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© This information is compiled and copyrighted by the Alternative Medicine Foundation, Inc., Potomac, Maryland.
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