Naturopathic physicians perform physical examinations, laboratory testing, gynecological exams, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis, allergy testing, X-ray examinations, and other diagnostic tests. They are the only primary care physicians clinically trained in the use of a wide variety of natural therapeutics. They combine and, adapt these treatments to the needs of the individual based on a cogent philosophy that acknowledges the patient as a participant.
Naturopathic medicine is effective in treating most health problems, both acute and chronic. Some of the therapies used by naturopathic physicians are described below:
Clinical Nutrition is a cornerstone of naturopathic medicine. It refers to both the practice of using food to maintain health and the therapeutic use of food to treat illness. Scientific research has shown that many medical conditions can be treated as effectively with food and nutritional supplements as they can by other means, with fewer complications and side effects.
Homeopathy is a powerful system of medicine that is more than 200 years old. This medical system uses highly diluted substances to cure illness. Homeopathic remedies act to enhance the body’s innate immune response and rarely have side effects. Some conditions that do not respond well to conventional medicine will respond to homeopathic therapies.
Botanical Medicine is the use of plants as medicine. Many plant substances are powerful medicines that are safe and effective when used properly. A resurgence of scientific research in Europe and Asia is demonstrating that some plant substances are superior to synthetic drugs in clinical conditions.
Physical Medicine includes naturopathic manipulation of the muscles, bones and spine. Heat and cold, gentle electrical impulses, ultrasound, hydrotherapy and exercise therapy are also used.
Natural Childbirth is offered by naturopathic physicians with additional specialty training. These physicians offer prenatal and postnatal care using the most modern diagnostic techniques. When natural childbirth is not medically appropriate because of high risk, patients are referred for appropriate care.
Oriental Medicine includes acupuncture, acupressure and oriental botanical medicine to diagnose and treat disease.
Counseling and Stress Management. Mental attitudes and emotional states can be important elements in healing illness. Naturopathic physicians’ training includes counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, hypnotherapy, biofeedback and other methods.
Minor Surgery, including repair of superficial wounds and removal of foreign bodies, cysts and other superficial masses, with local anesthesia as needed.
The existence or absence of licensing laws may affect the doctor’s scope of practice. Ask your naturopathic physician for more information about these or other treatments.