What is Naturopathic Medicine? It is alternative, integrative and scientific natural medicine. It is a medical speciality that combines the wisdom of the past with the science of the present to deliver the medicine of the future, today.
Naturopathic physicians are primary care providers in the state of Arizona and are the highest trained physicians in the United States in integrative, natural and alternative medicine.
Naturopathic medical education and curriculum is comparable to that offered at John Hopkins, Yale and Stanford. A four year undergraduate degree is required for admittance to an accredited four year graduate level medical school, leading to the degree of Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD).
Course work includes but is not limited to the following:
Basic & Clinical Sciences: anatomy, physiology, cell biology, histology, biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology, lab diagnosis, genetics, epidemiology, public health, medical history and philosophy, and ethic.
Clerkships & Allopathic Therapeutics: dermatology, family medicine, psychiatric medicine and counseling, radiology, pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, neurology, minor surgery, pulmonology, cardiology, opthamology, gynecology, rheumatology, endocrinology, and clinical electives.
Naturopathic Therapeutics: clinical nutrition, detoxification, intravenous therapy, botanical medicine, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, colon hydrotherapy, physical/manipulative therapy, Ayurvedic medicine, acupuncture, immunotherapy, and clinical electives.
Naturopathic medical doctors receive over 250 hours of education in therapeutic and clinical nutrition while conventional medical doctors receive little to none.
There are six principles upon which the foundation of naturopathic medicine is built.
1. Vis Medicatrix Naturae (the healing power of nature). The human body has considerable power to heal itself. The role of the naturopathic physician is to facilitate that natural process with the aid of safe, natural and non-toxic therapies.
2. Tolle Causum (treat the cause): Naturopathic physicians seek the underlying cause of illness or disease rather than merely suppressing symptoms. We generally avoid suppression of the natural healing wisdom of the body. Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body’s natural attempt to heal itself as causes can originate from the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.
3. Primum Non Nocere’ (first do no harm): By employing safe and effective natural therapies, naturopathic physicians are strongly committed to the principle of causing no harm to the patient.
4. Tolle Totum (treat the whole person): each individual is viewed as as whole, comprised of a complex amalgamation of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and other factors. This multifaceted philosophy results in a therapeutic approach in which no disease is automatically viewed as incurable.
5. Prevanarae (prevention is the best medicine): Naturopathic physicians are preventative medicine specialists. Prevention of illness and disease are accomplished through education and the promotion of lifestyle and behaviors that support health while preventing disease.
6. Docere’ (doctor as teacher): The word doctor is derived from the Latin word Docere’, which literally means “to teach”. Naturopathic physicians are first and foremost teachers who educate, empower and motivate the patient to assume more personal responsibility for his or her health by adopting and maintaining a healthy attitude, lifestyle and diet.
Naturopathic medicine is exceptionally beneficial when used alone. But under certain circumstances, it can be improved upon when combined wisely with homeopathic and conventional medical techniques.
The continual increase in popularity of natural medicine is growing proof that the public is desperately seeking options to the standard and customary conventional medical and pharmaceutical approach. Naturopathic medicine is a strong option and and a logical solution to many of the ills that ails our population.