What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopaths look at the body as a whole. We believe this makes the most sense because every part of our body is synergistically connected to all the other parts. When we experience disease, it is not the failure of a particular organ, but an imbalance in the system that is making itself known. To look and feel beautiful and vibrant you need to nourish and balance the whole body.
Naturopathic medicine combines safe and effective traditional therapies with the most current advances in modern medicine. The word naturopathy was first used in the United States over 100 years ago, but the natural therapies and philosophy on which naturopathy is based have been effectively used to treat diseases since ancient times. Naturopaths consider Hippocrates, a physician who lived 2400 years ago, the grandfather of naturopathy, particularly in terms of his teaching that nature is the healer of all diseases.
Naturopathic physicians (ND’s) are the highest trained practitioners in the broadest scope of naturopathic medical therapeutics. Arizona is one of the first states to license naturopathic physicians and has an accredited naturopathic college (Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine).
Naturopaths are trained in the basic medical sciences and conventional diagnostic techniques just like your MD. In addition to this basic medical training, naturopathic education also includes therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, natural childbirth, classical Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulative therapy, pharmacology and minor surgery.
At first you may be surprised how much your visit to a naturopath is like your visit to an MD: we draw blood for testing, check weight, blood pressure and other vitals, and do whole body exams including full gynecological exams and pap smears for women.
What you may find different is the time a naturopath will take to get to know you as a person and to understand the physical, mental and emotional challenges you face so we can treat you as a whole - not just as a set of symptoms. Mostly, we help you get out of the way of the body's amazing capacity to heal itself.
The Naturopathic Oath is:
First, DO NO HARM
ACT in cooperation with the Healing Power of Nature
ADDRESS the root causes of disease
HEAL the whole person through individualized treatment
TEACH the principles of healthy living and preventive medicine
You can learn more about naturopathic healing from the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.