NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE

AN ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE RESOURCE GUIDE

From the Alternative Medicine Foundation, Inc

Contents:

teek.jpg (3467 bytes) Introduction
    Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
    Education, Clinical Training & Licensing
    Research
teeqpu.jpg (4050 bytes) Books
teeush.jpg (2789 bytes) Journals
teepsh.jpg (3181 bytes) Professional Organizations
teek.jpg (3467 bytes) Naturopathic Medical Schools
teeqpu.jpg (4050 bytes) Web Resources

 

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INTRODUCTION

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:

Clinical Nutrition
Homeopathy
Botanical Medicine
Physical Medicine
Natural Childbirth
Oriental Medicine
Counseling and Stress Management
Minor Surgery
Public Health Measures and Hygiene

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.

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Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The naturopathic physician's approach to health and wellness is guided by the following philosophy and principles of practice:

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:

  • Utilize methods and medical substances that minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat.
  • Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms.
  • Acknowledge, respect, and work with the individual's self-healing process.

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.

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Education, Clinical Training and Licensing
Naturopathic doctors receive their training at four-year, graduate level naturopathic medical schools with admissions requirements comparable to those of other medical schools. The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree (N.D.) is awarded after the completion of classroom, clinic and practical study.

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:

  • Graduation from an accredited four year, residential naturopathic medical school
  • Passage of extensive postdoctoral board examinations (e.g., NPLEX)
  • Fulfillment of state mandated continuing education requirements

In many unlicensed states, supporters of naturopathic medicine have introduced bills and are actively working toward achieving licensure.

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Research
The methods and therapies used in naturopathic medicine have been the subject of scientific research in peer-reviewed journals from many disciplines, including naturopathic medicine, conventional medicine, European complementary medicine, clinical nutrition, Oriental medicine, phytotherapy (herbal medicine), pharmacognosy, homeopathy, psychology and others. Naturopathic physician researchers serve on the Research and Advisory Board of the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

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:


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NOTEThe 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:

BOOKS

 Cover of 'Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine'    Tori Hudson, N.D.
Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine
Keats, 1999
Cover of 'Nature Doctors'   Friedhelm Kirchfeld and Wade Boyle
Nature Doctors: Pioneers in Naturopathic Medicine
Medicina Biologica, 1994

  Cover of 'Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine'  Marc Micozzi, M.D., Ed.
Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Churchhill Livingston, 2001
Joseph E Pizzorno, N.D., and Michael T Murray, N.D.
The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 2nd edition, revised
Prima Publishing, 1997
  Amazon.com Logo -- links to 'The Textbook of Natural Medicine'  Joseph E Pizzorno, N.D., and Michael T Murray, N.D
The Textbook of Natural Medicine
Churchill Livingstone, 1999
  Cover of 'Total Wellness'    Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D.
Total Wellness: Improve Your Health by Understanding the Body's Healing Systems
Prima Publishing, 1997
  Cover of 'The Natural Pharmacy'  W. Lininger Schuyler, D.C.; Alan R. Gaby, M.D.; Steve Austin, N.D; Don Brown, N.D.; Jonathan Wright; M.D. and Alice Duncan D.C., C.C.H.
The Natural Pharmacy, rev. ed.
Prima Publishing, 1999

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

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JOURNALS

Alternative Medicine Review
http://www.thorne.com/altmedrev/

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
http://www.alternative-therapies.com/at/login/index.jsp

American Family Physician
http://www.aafp.org/afp/
Official publication of the American Academy of Family Physicians

Complementary Therapies in Medicine
http://www.harcourt-international.com/journals/ctim/

Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
http://www.liebertpub.com/ACM/default1.asp
Research on Paradigm, Practice, and Policy

Journal of Naturopathic Medicine
http://www.healthy.net/naturopathicjournal/
Official publication of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)

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PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)
http://www.naturopathic.org
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
http://www.cnme.org/
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)
http://www.nabne.org/
8948 SW Barbur Boulevard #157
Portland, OR 97219-4047
Phone: 503-250-5014
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.

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NATUROPATHIC MEDICAL SCHOOLS

The following schools are accredited by the CNME (Council on Naturopathic Medical Education):

Bastyr University
http://www.bastyr.edu/
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
http://www.ccnm.edu/
1255 Sheppard Avenue East
North York, Ontario M2K 1E2
Canada
Phone: (416) 498-1255
Clinic: (416) 498-9763

College of Naturopathic Medicine- University of Bridgeport
http://www.bridgeport.edu/naturopathy/index.html
60 Lafayette Street
Bridgeport, CT 06601
Phone: (203) 576-4108
Fax: (203) 576-4941
Email: natmed@bridgeport.edu

National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM)
http://www.ncnm.edu/
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
http://www.scnm.edu/
2140 East Broadway Road
Tempe, AZ 85282
Phone: (480) 858-9100
Fax: (480) 858-9116
Clinic: 480-970-0000
Email: s.drumm@scnm.edu

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WEB RESOURCES

Promotional and commercial sites are not included in this listing unless they provide significant impartial information resources.

HealthWorldOnline - Naturopathy
http://www.healthy.net/clinic/therapy/naturopathic/
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
http://www.pandamedicine.com/
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.

Naturopathy Online
http://www.naturopathyonline.com/
Informative site from a professional naturopath, Suzanne Lawton, ND

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Last Updated: January 24, 2006
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