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
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
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.