Naturopathic medicine integrates modern clinical paradigms and diagnostic techniques with the advantage and insight of traditional natural medicine. This helps the naturopathic doctor effectively treat their patients with a unique and personalized approach. A naturopathic doctor focuses on treating the cause of the disease or condition, not just the symptoms. Whether that cause is biochemical, microbial, physiological, musculo-skeletal, mental, emotional or spiritual the naturopathic doctor focuses on the root of the problem with the intent to treat and support the whole person on their journey to wellness.
A naturopathic doctor has the additional benefit of being educated and trained in the art and science of traditional naturopathic therapies, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, nature cure, mind-body medicine, and orthomolecular medicine. These modalities when properly prescribed awaken the patient’s innate ability to heal and bring their physiology back in to balance.
Naturopathic doctors receive an education in the basic sciences and a similar standard medical curriculum that one might encounter at a conventional medical school. They are thoroughly trained in clinical diagnosis, physical exams and assessment, pharmacology, diagnostic and clinical lab testing. Naturopathic medical interns also receive comprehensive hands on clinical experience in various medical settings with diverse patient populations, culminating in over 1500 clinic hours.
EXCERPT FROM THE PRINCETON REVIEW:
"Naturopathic physicians (NDs) take a holistic approach to healing, and aim to cure disease by taking advantage of the body's self-regenerative powers and harnessing the restorative power of nature. Like osteopaths, naturopathic physicians endeavor to treat the whole person by taking into account the emotional, genetic, and environmental factors that have influenced their state of health. Unlike osteopaths, however, naturopathic physicians emphasize natural remedies. NDs also differ from allopaths (MDs); rather than limiting their treatment to synthetic drugs and invasive procedures, NDs predominantly utilize natural medicines and procedures. Naturopathic physicians work to identify and eliminate the cause of disease, and are guided by six basic principles: Do no harm, Utilize the healing power of nature, Identify and treat the causes, Treat the whole person, Focus on preventive medicine, Practice doctor-as-teacher"
Excerpt from "Best 168 Medical Schools, 2007 Edition" Chapter 3 So You Still Want to Be a Doctor, p. 24 By Malaika Stoll, The Princeton Review.
The Six Principles
Naturopathic doctors are guided by a unique set of six principles. These six principles are used as a framework or blueprint that an ND uses when treating each patient. Our approach to and treatment of our patients is highly individualized and based on the unique set of symptoms that the patient presents.
1. First do no harm--Primum Non Nocere A naturopathic doctor’s approach to healing is to utilize the most gentle, non-toxic yet effective therapies to improve the health of our patients.
2. The healing power of nature--Vis Medicatrix Naturae Naturopathic doctors recognize the human body’s innate healing intelligence and the healing power of the natural world. When a naturopathic doctor uses the medicines that are derived from nature to treat their patients, a powerful connection is established between human and nature--this connection grounds us and reminds our body of it’s innate healing ability. Through supporting the body and its intelligence with naturopathic medicine we are able to re-establish a healthy state when we are ill or our health is not optimal.
3. Identify and treat the cause of the illness--Tolle Causam Treating the symptoms of a disease may bring about temporary relief, but does not address the root cause of the illness. Naturopathic doctors seek out and identify the cause of an illness, often looking for answers in places that other doctors may not. If a true recovery and reestablishment of vitality is desired, the cause of the illness must be understood and treated accordingly.
4. Treat the whole person--Tolle Totum True health is not just physical well being. True health is the healthy balance and functioning of our physiology with the mental-emotional, spiritual and environmental aspects of our life. Naturopathic doctors treat all aspects of a person’s being in order to bring about true health and balance.
5. Doctor as teacher--Docere Naturopathic doctors strive to educate their patients as to what is occurring with their health and to guide them through the healing process. Honoring the doctor-patient relationship is important in establishing trust and delivering excellent health care. Communication and teaching are essential tools that a naturopathic doctor brings to the doctor patient interaction.
6. Prevention--Prevenire “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” -- Naturopathic doctors strive to optimize the wellness of our patients. Preventing disease or conditions from occurring is essential to living a long and healthy life. Through a doctor’s adherence to the principles outlined above, and the cooperation and individual focus of the patient, the prevention of disease and the amelioration of one’s condition is fostered--establishing a foundation of vitality, longevity, and good health.
What Makes Naturopathic Doctors Unique?
What makes naturopathic doctors unique? As naturopathic doctors we have access to a varied and unique set of healing therapies both modern and traditional. We use these therapies and medicines to treat the cause of what a patient is suffering from, rather than just treating the symptoms. According to naturopathic medical philosophy, treating just the symptoms of a disease suppresses or blunts a true healing response from taking place. Allowing and supporting the process of healing to unfold naturally while trusting in the wisdom inherent in every cell of the human body leads to a more stable and lasting recovery. Naturopathic medicine is effective yet gentle, coaxing the body’s innate healing mechanisms to initiate and assist in the process of healing. This eventually leads to improved health and true wellness.
What makes naturopathic doctors similar to conventional medical doctors? Naturopathic medical school has a very similar curriculum to conventional medical school especially during the first 2 years. We have a similar number of hours in basic science coursework including pharmacology (we study the same drugs as conventional medical students, and our didactic hours related to pharmacology are the same or exceed conventional medical schools). We also are well trained in clinical physical diagnosis, minor surgery, IV therapy, and receive a thorough and rigorous education in the specialized medical sciences such as gastroenterology, endocrinology, and cardiology.
Just like conventional medical students we learn the causes and pathology of certain conditions such as hypothyroidism. Whereas the conventional medical student will learn how to treat hypothyroidism with pharmaceuticals, the naturopathic medical student will go beyond that by investigating the root cause of the hypothyroidism. The investigation of the cause of the hypothyroidism might lead us to recommend the use of botanical medicine, homeopathy, biotherapeutic drainage, nutrition and dietary changes or a combination of any of these modalities. Our goal is to recommend the most effective and therapeutic medicines with the least amount of side effects to bring the body’s physiological processes back into balance.
In certain states naturopathic doctors have extensive pharmaceutical prescription rights, can perform minor surgery, and work as primary care physicians in hospitals.
Dr. Jean-Luc Giuliano, ND Licensed Naturopathic Doctor 424-322-0707