Naturopathic Doctors are general practice doctors that are experts in natural medicine. They emphasize the ability of the body to heal and maintain itself. Often people will define naturopaths as doctors that use herbs and the like. However, treatment modalities vary widely and practitioners may recommend patients use conventional medicine alongside their treatments. Therefore Naturopathic Medicine is best defined by its principles.Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The Healing Power Of Nature. Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherit self-healing process in the person which 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.
Identify and Treat the Causes. The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm. Naturopathic physicians utilize methods and medical substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat.
Doctor As Teacher. Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
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.
Prevention. Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease -- assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.
As developed by Jared Zeff, ND, with Pamela Snider, ND The therapeutic order is the approach that naturopathic physicians use to guide patients to wellness. They start with the least force and move to more invasive measures as necessary.
Re-establish the basis for health. Remove obstacles to cure by establishing a healthy regimen.
Stimulate the healing power of nature. Use low-force methods such as hydrotherapy, nutrition, homeopathy and acupuncture to stimulate the inherent healing ability of the body.
Tonify weakened systems. Use modalities to strengthen the immune system, decrease toxicity, normalize inflammatory function, optimize metabolic function, balance regulatory systems, enhance regeneration, harmonize life forces.
Correct structural integrity. Use therapeutic exercise, massage, craniosacral therapy and spinal manipulation to optimize structural function.
Prescribe specific natural substances for pathology. Use vitamins, minerals and herbs to promote health.
Prescribe pharmacological substances for pathology. Use pharmacological drugs to return to health.
Prescribe surgery, suppressive drugs, radiation and chemotherapy. Use aggressive therapies to attempt to maintain health.
Below is a partial list of services and commonly treated conditions. If you do not see your health concern listed here please contact Dr Ito.
|ADD, ADHD for children and adults||Headaches and Migraines|
|Alcoholism and Addictions||High Cholesterol|
|Allergies and Asthma||Hypertension|
|Anxiety and Panic Attacks||Insomnia and Sleep Disorders|
|Back and Neck Pain||Menstrual/Hormonal Imbalances|
|Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia||Osteopenia/Osteoporosis|
|Common Colds and Flu||Pelvic Pain|
|Digestive Disorders||Skin Conditions|
|Ear and Sinus Infections|
|Adjunctive Cancer Care|
|Flower Essence Therapy|
|Stress Management Techniques|
To obtain a naturopathic medical credential (ND), students must have three years of pre-medical sciences at a university and a college diploma followed by successful completion of a 4-year-full time program at a CNME accredited school of Naturopathic Medicine. There are five accredited naturopathic schools in North America. This program includes more than four thousand hours of classroom training and over one thousand hours of supervised clinical experience. A prospective ND studies all the same basic sciences as an M.D. 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, physical medicine, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling and more. For a complete picture you can view the entire ND curriculum. In addition, in order to be licensed, ND’s must pass rigorous professional board exams after 2nd year and 4th years of study.
At the time of this writing the state of North Carolina does not have professional licensure for ND’s. The North Carolina Association of Naturopathic Physicians is working to remedy that. In an unlicensed state like North Carolina, an ND has a limited scope of practice and for example, lack hospital admitting and prescription writing privileges, therefore patients are advised to establish with a primary care provider in addition to their naturopath.
Currently, 17 states, the District of Columbia, and the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have licensing laws for naturopathic doctors. In these states, naturopathic doctors are required to graduate from a four-year, residential naturopathic medical school and pass and extensive postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX) in order to receive a license.
Licensed naturopathic physicians must fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements annually, and will have a specific scope of practice defined by their state’s law. The states that currently have licensing laws for naturopathic physicians are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho Kansas, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, US Territories: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.