What is Naturopathic Medicine?
The naturopathic approach and philosophy of medicine is holistic and seeks to understand all the factors that may be affecting a person’s health. Naturopathic doctors strive to find the underlying cause of illness rather than simply eliminating or suppressing symptoms. By listening carefully we can understand all the factors contributing to your health problems and uncover the underlying causes. Naturopathic medicine is appropriate for the management of a broad range of health conditions affecting people of all ages.
The emphasis of naturopathic medicine is on prevention and restoration of balance in the body, mind and spirit. We recommend natural, non-invasive therapies aimed to support and encourage the body’s innate healing processes. One of our main goals is to educate you on what you can do to promote health in your own life.
Naturopathic therapies include clinical nutrition, diet and lifestyle education, botanical medicine, vitamin, mineral and enzyme therapy, homeopathy, & physical medicine.
A naturopathic doctor (ND) attends an accredited, four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical institution after obtaining a basic pre-med undergraduate education. There are over 1500 hours of clinical training at a teaching naturopathic medical clinic. In addition to the basic medical sciences and conventional diagnostics, the naturopathic doctor is required to complete additional training in therapeutic nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, physical medicine and counseling.
A naturopathic doctor takes rigorous professional basic science and clinical board examinations so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction. Passing the naturopathic physicians licensing examinations (NPLEX) is required before a Doctor of Naturopathic medicine can be licensed as a naturopathic physician. Dr. Cronin is a licensed Naturopathic Physician in Washington State.
State Licensure for Naturopathic Doctors
States licensed for naturopathic doctors currently include Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington. Licensing efforts are taking place in numerous other states. For more information on Naturopathic Medicine or to find an ND in another state you can contact the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians at www.naturopathic.org.
Because Naturopathic Medicine is not yet licensed or regulated in the State of New York, it is important to distinguish those naturopathic doctors who have completed an intensive four-year program at an accredited school from those who have completed a short-term course in naturopathy, most often by correspondence. To support the licensing efforts in New York State, please go to www.nyanp.org and follow the prompts to support legislation.
Is Naturopathic Medicine research-based?
Naturopathic diagnostic and therapies are supported by scientific research drawn from peer-reviewed journals from many disciplines, including naturopathic medicine, conventional medicine, complementary medicine, clinical nutrition, etc.
Naturopathic medicine is distinguished from other medical systems by its philosophy, based on seven principles as follows.
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process. Naturopathic doctors act to identify and remove obstacles to recovery and promote this self-healing process.
Identify and Treat the Cause (Tolle Causam)
Naturopathic doctors seek to identify and remove the underlying cause to illness, rather than just eliminating or suppressing symptoms.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic doctors utilize modalities which minimize the risk of harmful side effects and use the least force interventions.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
Naturopathic doctors educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health.
Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic doctors treat each patient individually, taking into account an individual’s physical, mental, emotional state as well as genetic, environmental and social factors.
Naturopathic doctors emphasize the prevention of disease, assess risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and make interventions to prevent illness.
Wellness follows the establishment and maintenance of optimum health and balance. It is a state of being healthy and is characterized by positive emotion, thought and action.