The initial visit lasts approximately 90 minutes. During that time a detailed history is obtained regarding not only present concerns but also past issues.
Naturopathic medicine is a unique profession of healthcare that emphasizes disease prevention and the promotion of optimal health through natural therapeutics. Naturopathic medicine is an art, science, philosophy and practice of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illness.
Naturopathic medicine is distinguished by the principles which underlie and determine its practice. These principles are based upon the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in the light of scientific advances. Methods used are consistent with these principles and are chosen upon the basis of patient individuality. Naturopathic doctors are general practitioners, whose diverse techniques include modern and traditional, scientific and empirical methods.
Naturopathic medicine encourages the self-healing process and blends centuries-old knowledge of natural therapies with current advances in the understanding of health and human systems. Its scope of practice includes all aspects of family care, from pediatrics to geriatrics, and all natural medicine modalities. In the United States, the naturopathic medical profession's infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice, peer review, and a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research. Founded upon a holistic philosophy, naturopathic medicine combines safe and effective traditional therapies with the most current advances in modern medicine. Naturopathic medicine is a scientifically proven and tested system of (successful) healthcare. Naturopathic medicine is appropriate for the management of a broad range of health conditions affecting (all) people of all ages. Naturopathic doctors (N.D.'s) are the most extensively trained practitioners in the broadest scope of naturopathic medical modalities. In addition to the basic medical sciences and conventional diagnostics, naturopathic education includes: therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, natural childbirth, classical Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulative therapy, pharmacology and minor surgery. Naturopathic doctors tailor care to the individual patient, emphasizing prevention and self-care.
In licensed states, N.D.’s practice as independent primary care general practitioners, with the ability to diagnose and treat medical conditions, perform physical exams, ad order laboratory testing. In these states many health care consumers specifically choose N.D.’s as their primary care providers. In unlicensed states, like Virginia, naturopathic doctors are not able to offer all of the services they are trained to provide.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body's inherent self-healing ability, which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic doctors identify and remove obstacles to recovery and facilitate and augment this healing ability.
Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)
The Naturopathic doctor seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than eliminate or suppress its symptoms.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic medicine follows three principles to avoid harming the patient: 1) utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects; 2) avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms; 3) acknowledge and respect the individual's healing process, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat illness.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
Naturopathic doctors educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic doctors treat each patient individually, taking into account his or her physical, mental, emotional state as well as genetic, environmental and social factors. Since total health includes spiritual health, naturopathic doctors encourage individuals to pursue their own spiritual paths.
Naturopathic doctors emphasize disease prevention, assessment of risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and make appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine seeks to improve conditions through preventative measures so that we all may live healthier.
Wellness follows the establishment and maintenance of optimum health and balance. It is a state of being healthy and is characterized by positive emotion, thought and action. Wellness is inherent in everyone, no matter what the disease(s) he or she may have. If this fact is recognized and experienced by an individual, he or she will heal quicker than if the disease were only treated.