Naturopathic physicians (NDs) undergo training that is similar in structure and scope to that of medical and osteopathic physicians.
NDs can provide both primary care and/or naturopathic specialty care in outpatient settings. They see patients with acute and chronic conditions and employ all standard conventional diagnostic tools including physical examination, laboratory tests and imaging.
NDs may utilize additional physical and laboratory procedures to assess nutritional status, metabolic function, and/or toxic load, while considerable time may also be spent assessing mental, emotional, social and spiritual status to assure any treatment plan is comprehensive.
To promote health and treat disease, NDs use a variety of therapies, including:
NDs can perform minor office procedures appropriate to a primary care setting, administer vaccinations, and prescribe most standard drugs when indicated.
Naturopathic physicians try to first utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful effects, and apply the least possible force or intervention necessary to diagnose illness and restore health.
Naturopathic physicians address the underlying cause rather than focusing on symptoms. While symptoms are important indicators that something is wrong, there are often other perpetuating factors that need to be addressed.
Health or disease comes from a complex interaction of mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, dietary, genetic, environmental, lifestyle, and other factors. Naturopathic physicians are trained to assess and treat these factors.
The naturopathic approach to health care can prevent minor illnesses from developing into more serious diseases. Patients are taught the principles by which to live healthy lives. By following these principles, they can prevent major illnesses.
The healing power of nature is the inherent self-organizing and healing process of living systems.
Establishing and maintaining optimum health and balance. Wellness is a state of being healthy, characterized by positive emotion, thought, and action.
A principal objective of naturopathic medicine is to educate the patient and emphasize self-responsibility for health. Naturopathic physicians also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
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