Naturopathic Medicine FAQs

What is naturopathic medicine?

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.

Naturopathic medicine concentrates on whole-patient wellness and is tailored to the patient, emphasizing prevention and self-care. Naturopathic medicine attempts to find the underlying cause of the patient’s condition rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment. Naturopathic physicians cooperate with all other branches of medical science, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.

What is a naturopathic physician (ND)?

A Naturopathic Physician (ND) is a primary care primary care physician trained as an expert in natural medicine. He/She concentrates on whole-patient, whole-person wellness; seeks to treat the cause of an ailment and not just its symptoms; and tailors treatments and medicine to the patient, while emphasizing prevention and self-care. An ND cooperates with all other branches of medical science, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.

NDs perform physical examinations, laboratory testing, gynecological exams, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis, allergy testing, X-ray examinations, and other diagnostic tests. They are the only primary care physicians clinically trained in the use of a wide variety of natural therapeutics. They combine and adapt these treatments to the needs of the individual based on a philosophy that acknowledges the patient as a participant in treatment and care.

What kind of training does a naturopathic doctor have?

Naturopathic training consists of four years of full time graduate study at one of the accredited universities that teach Naturopathic Medicine in the United States or Canada. For more information on Naturopathic medicine and physicians trained in this discipline, visit www.naturopathic.org.

Is naturopathic medicine different from homeopathy?

Yes, homeopathy is different from naturopathic medicine, but the two types of medicine are often confused. Homeopathy is an independent natural therapy and system of healing that is part of the repertoire of therapies employed by naturopathic doctors. In contrast, a homeopath is exclusively trained to practice homeopathy. Naturopathic medicine encompasses homeopathy and several other natural therapies, and treatment integrates aspects of each of these therapies.

Information courtesy of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.