Naturopathic Medicine – Primary Care
Naturopathic physicians (NDs) are general practitioners trained as specialists in natural medicine. In practice, naturopathic physicians perform physical examinations, take thorough health histories, make nutritional and dietary assessments and order lab tests. NDs may order x-ray, ultrasounds, other imaging procedures, and other diagnostic tests. Referrals are made to specialists for additional testing when necessary. Naturopathic Physicians provide the least invasive, most natural treatments that they determine will be effective and safe. Since they are also extensively trained in Pharmacology, they are able to integrate natural treatments safely with prescription medications, often working with conventional medical physicians and osteopathic physicians to ensure you the most comprehensive and safest care possible. Some of the modalities involved in Naturopathic Medicine are:
Naturopathic physicians understand that diet is the basis for health. Adopting a healthy diet is often the first step towards correcting health problems. Naturopathic physicians may use specific individualized diets, fasting, and nutritional supplements with their patients.
Plants have powerful healing properties. Many pharmaceutical drugs have their origins in plant substances. Naturopathic physicians use plant substances for their healing effects and nutritional value.
This gentle yet effective system of medicine is more than 200 years old and is based on the principle that “Like cures Like.” Homeopathic medicines are very small doses of natural substances that can stimulate the body’s self-healing response without side effects.
Naturopathic medicine includes methods of therapeutic manipulation for muscles and bones. Naturopathic physicians also employ therapeutic exercise, massage, hydrotherapy, bio-electrical therapies, ultrasound, and applications of heat and cold.
Naturopathic physicians are trained in the fundamentals of oriental medicine and diagnosis. They may use acupressure, and Chinese herbal medicine to promote healing. With additional training and licensure they may also perform acupuncture.
Lifestyle Counseling and Stress Management
Mental attitudes and emotional states can be important elements in healing and disease. Naturopathic physicians are trained in counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, hypnotherapy, and biofeedback. They also attend to environmental and lifestyle factors that affect their patients’ health.
Naturopathic physicians, with additional specialty training, provide natural childbirth care. They offer prenatal and postnatal care using appropriate diagnostic techniques.
Minor Office Procedures
Naturopathic physicians perform in-office minor surgery including repair of superficial wounds and removal of foreign bodies, warts and cysts with local anesthesia.
Naturopathic physicians also have expertise in drug/herb/nutrient interactions. Many naturopathic physicians receive additional certification in disciplines such as midwifery, acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
Naturopathic physicians work in private practice or in integrated settings with other medical providers such as conventional medical doctors, osteopathic physicians and chiropractic physicians. The result is a patient-centered, comprehensive approach that provides the most appropriate treatment for an individual’s needs. Naturopathic physicians educate patients about why they are unwell and provide the tools for achieving optimal health.