Naturopathic doctors are not “quacks.” In fact, many people are finding that naturopathic medicine is a great alternative to traditional medicine for treating a variety of conditions. Naturopathic doctors are trained to use a variety of therapies, including nutrition, botanical medicine, lifestyle counseling, and physical medicine, to help people achieve better health. Naturopathy is a holistic approach to medicine, focusing on the whole person and treating the underlying cause of the condition rather than just the symptoms. This article will explore the benefits of naturopathic medicine and discuss if naturopathic doctors are qualified to practice this form of medicine. We’ll look at the training and qualifications of naturopathic doctors, their scope of practice, and the treatments they offer. With this information, we can better understand why naturopathic medicine is gaining in popularity and whether naturopathic doctors are quacks or not.
Are Naturopathic Doctors Quacks?
They are not. Naturopathic doctors are educated and licensed physicians who have graduated from accredited schools of naturopathic medicine and passed rigorous board exams. They may prescribe medication, perform surgery, order diagnostic tests, and counsel patients about diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices.
What Is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathy is a holistic approach to health and wellness. Unlike traditional medical practices that focus on the treatment of diseases and disorders, naturopathy focuses on improving the health of individuals through prevention and living a more holistic lifestyle. Naturopathic doctors work with individuals to understand their health and wellness on a mental, emotional, and physical level and tailor a plan specific to their needs. Naturopathy focuses on lifestyle, diet, and natural or alternative therapies. There are many different types of naturopathic medicine. As an example, naturopathic nutrition focuses on the role of diet in wellness and the prevention of disease. Dietitians who practice naturopathic nutrition use all aspects of nutrition, including food choices, vitamins and minerals, and other dietary supplements to help people achieve optimal health.
Training And Qualifications Of Naturopathic Doctors
- They must complete a four-year undergraduate degree in a related field such as biology, chemistry, or other science-related majors.
- Naturopathic doctors must attend and graduate from an accredited school of naturopathic medicine. There are currently 8 schools in the United States that offer a four-year physician’s program leading to a Doctor of Naturopathy (ND). Graduates of these programs are eligible to take the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exams in the US and Canada.
- After graduating from an accredited naturopathic medical school, NDs must pass all three parts of the NPLEX (National Physician’s Licensing Exam)
- in order to be licensed in the states and provinces that require licensure. The exam is offered twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. In the US, NDs are currently licensed in 19 states and have active legislation pending in 25 more.
- Naturopathic doctors complete an average of 2,200 hours of post-graduate training, including an internship and residency.
- Naturopathic doctors must be recertified every ten years through continuing education credits and/or research activities to maintain licensure as naturopathic doctors.
- Naturopathic doctors must also meet continuing education requirements in order to maintain their licenses.
- Licensed NDs have completed the same training and passed the same exams as MDs, DOs, and DPMs.
- Naturopathic doctors are members of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) and the American Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC).
- Naturopathic doctors have an active professional association in the United States (The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians) and Canada (The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors).
- Naturopathic medicine is recognized by the World Health Organization and is currently practiced in more than 35 countries worldwide.
Benefits Of Naturopathic Medicine
- Naturopathic Medicine is a holistic approach to treating patients. Naturopathic doctors treat the whole person and focus on treating the underlying causes of disease rather than just the symptoms.
- Naturopathic Medicine is a personalized treatment option.
- Naturopathic Medicine is an affordable treatment option.
- Naturopathic medicine is an effective treatment option for many chronic diseases and conditions that have not responded to traditional treatments, such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, allergies, depression and anxiety, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and chronic pain syndromes like fibromyalgia or neuropathy.
- Many naturopaths offer dietary counseling in addition to their medical treatments, which can be beneficial for improving health and preventing disease.
- Naturopathic doctors have access to a wide range of treatment options, including botanical medicine, physical medicine, homeopathy, and other natural therapies.
- Naturopathic doctors are trained in the use of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements, which can be beneficial for many conditions.
- Naturopathic doctors often recommend lifestyle changes that can be beneficial for treating many conditions, including weight loss and exercise programs for people with heart disease or diabetes who may not want to take medication or undergo surgery.
- Naturopathic doctors are trained in the use of traditional Chinese medicine herbal formulas, which can be beneficial for treating a variety of conditions and improving overall health.
- Naturopathic physicians are trained in the use of acupuncture which has been shown to be effective in treating chronic pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, headaches, migraine headaches, neck pain, back pain, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and various other types of chronic pain.
- Naturopathic doctors are trained in the use of acupressure which is helpful in treating a variety of conditions, including pain syndromes and gastrointestinal disorders.
- Naturopathic doctors are trained in therapeutic touch and massage therapy which can be beneficial for improving health and relieving stress.
- Naturopathic doctors have access to a variety of natural therapies, including hydrotherapy, homeopathy, herbal medicine, acupuncture, acupressure, exercise therapy, and therapeutic touch.
Naturopathic medicine offers a wide variety of benefits for individuals. These include improved quality of life, improved nutrition, better management of chronic conditions, fewer side effects, improved immune function, fewer drug interactions, and fewer drug side effects. Many of these benefits are likely due to the fact that natural remedies and therapies are often less costly and carry less risk than pharmaceutical treatments. Although naturopathic doctors may offer a wide range of benefits, it is important to note that they are not trained as medical doctors and are, therefore, not qualified to perform surgery or treat emergency conditions. This is why it is important to do research and choose a naturopathic doctor who is certified and qualified to treat your condition.