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Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

While every Naturopathic Doctor (ND) has a similar classroom education, each doctor practices differently.  Some practice as primary care physicians, others as wellness counselors, and everything in between.  Some choose to focus in Women's health, Geriatrics, Sports Medicine, or Mental Health to name a few, while others are general practitioners.  Some NDs also individualize their practices by specializing in one or a few treatment modalities such as Herbal Medicine or Homeopathy, while others use all the therapies they have learned.  While each ND has a unique approach to health & wellness, we are all guided by the same basic principles

Treatment Modalities

Naturopathic doctors are trained in many different treatment modalities, as they are often called.  Here are some of the most widely used modalities:

Clinical Nutrition - Employing both the practice of using food to maintain health and the therapeutic use of food & nutrients to treat illness.  Scientific research has shown that many medical conditions can be treated as effectively with food and nutritional supplements as they can by other means, with fewer complications and side effects.

Counseling & Stress Management - Mental attitudes and emotional states can be important elements in healing illness.  Naturopathic physicians' training includes counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, and other methods.

Herbal Medicine - The use of plants as medicine.  Many plant substances are powerful medicines that are safe and effective when used properly.  A resurgence of scientific research of plants is demonstrating that some plant substances are superior to synthetic drugs in clinical conditions.

Homeopathy - A powerful system of medicine that is more than 200 years old.  This medical system uses highly diluted substances to cure illness.  Homeopathic remedies act to enhance the body's innate immune response and rarely have side effects.  Some conditions that do not respond well to conventional medicine will respond to homeopathic therapies.

Physical Medicine - This includes naturopathic manipulation of the muscles, bones, and spine.  Heat and cold, gentle electrical impulses, ultrasound, hydrotherapy, and exercise therapy are also used.

Source:  AANP