Naturopathic doctors are highly trained and educated professionals. They must complete a minimum of three years of premedical education, four to five academic years at an accredited naturopathic medical school, and pass comprehensive board exams before receiving a license to practice medicine. Licensing requirements vary from state to state; however, most states require naturopathic physicians to demonstrate a broad knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and biochemistry, among other medical sciences. Naturopathic doctors are also trained in natural therapeutics such as nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, and lifestyle counseling. Many states allow naturopathic physicians to perform minor office procedures such as injections or superficial surgeries. Once licensed, naturopathic doctors are subject to continuing education requirements to maintain their licenses. Additionally, most states require naturopathic physicians to be certified by the National Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NPLEX). This certification is a testament to the doctor’s expertise and commitment to providing safe and effective health care.

Naturopathic doctors receive advanced nutrition training as part of their naturopathic medical education. The training covers the fundamentals of nutrition, including macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins and minerals, and how to assess an individual’s nutritional status. Naturopathic doctors also gain extensive knowledge about lifestyle modifications for optimizing health and preventing chronic conditions. Finally, they learn how to develop nutrition plans that are tailored to each individual patient’s needs, taking into account their medical history and health goals. Naturopathic doctors use this training to help patients make informed decisions about their nutritional choices and achieve optimal health.

In addition to the advanced nutrition training in their naturopathic medical education, many naturopathic doctors seek additional certifications or training in nutrition-related fields such as herbalism, functional medicine, and Ayurveda. This further enhances their ability to provide comprehensive, evidence-based nutritional guidance for their patients.

Naturopathic herbal remedies are generally considered to be safe when taken according to the suggested dosage recommendations. However, it is important to always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before taking any herbal remedy to make sure that it does not interact with any medications you may already be taking and will not cause an adverse reaction in your system. Additionally, certain herbs should not be taken if you have a specific medical condition or are pregnant, so it is important to always check with your healthcare provider before taking any new herbal supplement.
  1. The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
  2. Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam): The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
  3. First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
    • Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; an
    • Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process. 
  4. Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship. 
  5. Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development. 
  6. Prevention: Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
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