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Is A Doctor Of Naturopathy A Real Doctor?


A doctor of naturopathy is a licensed health care specialist who uses natural, drug-free, non-invasive therapies to aid the body in self-healing while focusing on the whole person and the cause of the patient’s ailments, rather than just the symptom. Naturopathic medicine may either be used as primary health care or as a complementary treatment to conventional medicine.

What Is A Doctor Of Naturopathy?

A doctor of naturopathy is a licensed physician who employs natural, non-toxic healing methods and focuses on holistic, proactive prevention to treat the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. Using drug-free, non-invasive treatments, naturopathic physicians minimize intervention and side effects and aid the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain overall optimal health. Using a whole person approach, the naturopathic doctor identifies barriers to good health and creates a comprehensive treatment plan to help the patient’s body self-heal through the use of natural remedies, such as herbs and foods.

Naturopath physicians work in chiropractic clinics, private practices, hospitals, clinics, and community health centers. Physicians must go through rigorous training, much like those who receive degrees in conventional medicine, to become an accredited, licensed naturopath doctor. Licensed doctors of naturopathy are trained to treat common ailments, such as allergies, chronic pain, digestive issues, obesity, hormonal imbalance, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Unlike conventional doctors, doctors of naturopathic do not practice major surgery.

Also, naturopathic doctors aim to treat both acute and chronic ailments, as well as prevent disease, with the use of natural remedies, rather than surgery or synthetic drugs. While the main focus of conventional medicine is on treating symptoms, the main focus of naturopathic medicine is on preventing disease and educating patients on nutrition, natural remedies, and healthy lifestyle choices. The scope of naturopathic medicine may include any of the following:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Clinical nutrition
  • Botanical medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Chinese medicine
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Manipulative therapy
  • Environment medicine
  • Minor surgery

Defining Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a complementary and alternative medicine that emphasizes the body’s inherent ability to heal and maintain itself. Naturopathy has evolved from the belief in the healing power of nature to remove barriers from within the body and restore optimal overall health. This form of medicine focuses on minimal intervention as well as optimal prevention through a healthy diet and lifestyle and the use of natural remedies.

Finding A Doctor Of Naturopathy

There are currently 15 states that have licensing laws for naturopathic doctors, which includes that the physicians must graduate from a four-year, residential naturopathic medical school and a pass a postdoctoral board examination to become licensed. In accordance with the states’ licensing laws, naturopathic physicians must also fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements each year to maintain licensure. The following states and U.S. territories currently have licensing laws for doctors of naturopathy:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Plus, the United States Territories of Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

When looking for a doctor of naturopathy, it is important to distinguish the difference between naturopathic doctors (N.D.) who have finished an accredited four-year program and those who have completed online course to earn the title of N.D.

Look for doctors have graduated from a residential program approved by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Also check your state’s licensing laws that govern doctors of naturopathy. If licensing laws exist in your state, make sure your naturopath doctor he or she is licensed.

Is Naturopathy Safe?

Naturopathic medicine has been proven to be a safe and effective treatment for acute conditions and best used in conjunction with conventional medicine in treating more serious, chronic illnesses. Naturopathic care is an appropriate treatment for chronic low-back pain, for example.

Naturopathy has been practiced for several hundred years and is currently being practiced in many countries, especially in the United States and Canada. This form of medicine is based on the belief of the healing power of nature, rather than the use of synthetic medicines. Look for physicians who are licensed and who have received their degree from an accredited four-year program.

If you are looking for alternative treatments or natural medicines to complement your conventional medical treatment, consult with a doctor of naturopathy to devise a comprehensive health care plan that includes natural remedies, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices.

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