Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care - an art, science, philosophy and practice of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illness. Naturopathic physicians (ND's) are primary care and specialty doctors who address the underlying cause of disease through individualized natural therapies that integrate the healing powers of body, mind and spirit. ND's utilize diverse techniques that include modern and traditional, scientific and empirical methods. They are trained to be the doctor first seen by the patient for general health care, for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions, and for preventative medicine. They also serve those whose treatment by conventional means has not met their needs and who seek Naturopathic care as an alternative.


Naturopathic Medicine is a distinctively natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the integrity of the whole person. Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes the treatment of disease through the stimulation, enhancement, and support of the inherent healing power of nature. Methods of treatment are chosen to work with the patient's vital force, respecting the intelligence of the natural healing process. The practice of Naturopathic Medicine emerges from six underlying principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in light of scientific analysis. It is these principles that distinguish the profession from other medical approaches:


Naturopathic philosophy serves as the basis for Naturopathic practice. Naturopathic physicians are general practitioners trained as specialists in natural medicine. In practice, Naturopathic physicians perform physical examinations, laboratory testing, gynecological exams, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis, and allergy testing. They may order x-ray, ultrasounds, other imaging procedures, and other diagnostic tests.

The current scope of Naturopathic practice includes, but is not limited to:


Licensed Naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year graduate level Naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the Naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling. Because the coursework in natural therapeutics is added to a standard medical curriculum, ND's receive significantly more hours of classroom education than the graduates of many leading medical schools. A Naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician. Additional information on naturopathic schools can be found at

Naturopathic practice excludes the use of most synthetic drugs and major surgery.

Naturopathic physicians are well trained in all modern methods of diagnostic testing and imaging including X-ray, ultrasound, and other imaging techniques.

The majority of Naturopathic Physicians are in general, private practice. Some NDs, however, choose to emphasize particular treatment modalities, or may concentrate on particular medical fields (pediatrics, gynecology, allergies, arthritis, etc.).