Naturopathic doctors are trained specialists in a separate and distinct healing art, which uses non-invasive natural medicine. They are not orthodox medical doctors (M.D.s). Naturopathic doctors (N.D.) to are conventionally trained in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, counseling, dietary evaluations, nutrition, herbology, acupressure, muscle relaxation and structural normalization, homeopathy, iridology, exercise therapy, hydrotherapy, oxygen therapy and thermal therapy.
Some practitioners are also trained in additional specialties such as acupuncture or natural childbirth.
Naturopathic doctors tailor the healing modality to the needs of the individual with methods, which are effective for both chronic and acute problems. Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all branches of medical science, referring individuals to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.
In practice, naturopathic doctors perform lifestyle analysis, laboratory testing, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis and other evaluative procedures. They are trained to use a wide variety of natural methods which involve the individual in the healing process. Naturopathy is based upon a belief in the body's innate natural ability to heal itself when given an appropriate internal and extend healing environment. Naturopaths are not involved in the practice of medicine and do not use drugs or pharmaceuticals, nor do they perform abortions or surgery (other than minor first aid). They have traditionally been referred to as "drugless doctors." In reality naturopathy deals with wellness and relief from conditions, which are the results of stress whether from mental, nutritional, environmental or physical factors.
Naturopathic doctors (N.D.) to have participated in a specialized course of study and received degrees in naturopathy. Some states license naturopaths and regulate the profession. In those states, the naturopaths must also have passed a national or state board examination and their practice is subject to review by a State Board of Examiners. Several naturopathic; professional organizations also require the candidate to pass proficiency test in naturopathy in order to join their organization.
Dr. Benedict Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York City and graduated its first class in 1902. A number of other schools were organized and by the 1930t there were more than twenty naturopathic colleges and over 10,000 practitioners. The allopathic medical schools, which had the backing of the pharmaceutical industry, flourished with large endowments and the political clout, which comes with wealth. Due to lack of funding, naturopathic education began to decline and only recently has the disenchantment with pharmaceutically trained doctors led people to once again begin exploring and embracing natural, simple, effective remedies found in naturopathy.
Naturopathy promotes health through education and non-invasive natural agents
Primum non nocere is taken from the Hippocratic oath. Certainly anybody who is sick does not need any therapy or treatment that can harm him/her. Since prescription medication has such a potential to make a well man sick, many wonder how it can be expected to make a sick man well. Traditional naturopathy embraces only therapies or procedures, which are designed to enhance healing and produce wellness.
Vis medicatrix naturae. The human body is created with the capacity to heal itself and to maintain homeostasis. There is a healing power in nature and this principal is the basis for all of naturopathy. Naturopathy is a system designed to work in harmony with nature in the restoration and support for the inherent natural healing systems of the body.
Tolle causam. In allopathic medicine the name of the disease is actually the name of the symptom in Greek. For example, the term "arthritis" is made up of two Greek roots "arthro" which means having to do with the joint and "itis" meaning pain or inflammation. Allopathic doctors seek to treat the joint pain by reducing the joint pain. This can be done with the use of painkillers, nerve blockers or any number of procedures. Naturopaths are committed to removing the joint pain by finding and removing the cause. Perhaps this may prove to be calcium and/or mineral deficiency caused by either a primary or secondary nutritional deficiency. Or perhaps the cause could be from an injury or possibly from an over acid condition in the body. For naturopaths, the correction of the cause is the most plausible way of eliminating the symptoms and restoring health to the person.
Naturopathic doctors are aware that a person can have a physical, spiritual or emotional illness. The chosen therapy is determined by what kind of problem the person is experiencing. You cannot be well or healthy if you have a spiritual or mental problem even if you appear perfectly fit. Naturopaths use various counseling, stress management and biofeedback techniques for those experiencing emotional or spiritual problems. Most naturopathic practitioners are capable of also using counseling as restorative therapy. Reading the writings of the fathers of naturopathy, you will find ,they were Godly people who recognized the Creator and gave Him the honor for all healing.
Naturopathic philosophy places the responsibility for wellness with the individual. Man is the steward of this body and the doctor is the teacher or advisor to the individual on how to maintain health. One recognizes that a headache is not an aspirin deficiency but rather the result of some imbalance with in the body. Some principle of health has been violated and the body is responding with pain.
Naturopaths should evaluate the connotation and advise or teach their clients what lifestyle; nutritional, emotional or dietary changes should be made to alleviate the condition. The condition is alleviated by the clients making those changes and not by some outside agency.
It is admirable that there is an effective system based on natural restorative methods. However, it is preferable for the body not to experience imbalances and their resulting consequences. Naturopaths are prepared to advice clients on simple disease prevention principles which are designed to produce health and avoid the destructive consequences which occur as the result of violating those principles.
When you consult a naturopathic doctor for counsel, you will find a person committed to the holistic approach to health. The doctor will gather a medical history, inquire about your diet, discuss any stress you are experiencing, give various non-invasive tests designed to evaluate body conditions and advise you concerning your condition. You will experience techniques, which are consistent with traditional naturopathy and its philosophy. These will enable your body to correct problems now and prevent them from occurring in the future.
To be sure of the training of your naturopathic doctor and his/her adherence to natural healing principles, ask your doctor if he/she is a” Registered or Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor."
In a society focused on an allopathic mindset, naturopaths can provide people with more options in the treatment of disease and pain. These options, along with being non-invasive, are all natural and, in actuality, are more historical methods in the pursuit of good health.