Naturopathic doctors combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic doctors help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic doctor’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.
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What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
Qualified naturopathic doctors undergo rigorous training before they become licensed health-care practitioners. After completing a Bachelor's degree a licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in basic sciences, as well as 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 doctor also studies clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling. A naturopathic doctor takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed.
NDs manage all medical conditions and can provide both individual and family health care. Among the most common ailments they treat are allergies, chronic pain, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, obesity, respiratory conditions, heart disease, fertility problems, menopause, adrenal fatigue, cancer, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Your First Visit
A naturopathic doctor will take time with you. During your first appointment, your ND will take your health history, find out about your diet, stress levels, use of tobacco and alcohol, and discuss why you’re there. He or she may perform an examination and order diagnostic tests. Naturopathic doctors keep themselves up-to-date on the latest scientific research and incorporate this evidence into their treatments. The naturopathic doctor will work with you to set up a customized health management strategy. If necessary, your ND will refer you to other health-care practitioners.
A first visit with a patient will last one and a half hours and follow-up visits range from 15 to 60 minutes. Naturopathic doctors need sufficient time to ask questions and understand the patient’s health goals. NDs also need time to gather information, do an appropriate examination and teach his or her patients about managing their condition and improving their health. An ND may also use diagnostic tests to fully understand their patient’s health status. Besides taking the time to carefully and fully assess a patient’s root problem, NDs speak and understand the language of conventional medicine. Instead of waiting for a disease to emerge, NDs work to head it off before it happens.
Intake Forms must be filled out and brought with you to your first appointment. If you cannot print them and bring them with you then you must arrive a minimum of 30 minutes early to your appointment. If you have not completed all necessary paperwork when the ND is ready for you then that will cut into the consultation time and may even result in having to reschedule your appointment.