Naturopathic Medicine Philosophy
Naturopathic Medicine arises from one fundamental philosophy: A person has the ability to heal when given the appropriate support, and when obstacles to healing are eliminated. This principle allows naturopathic doctors to match their therapies appropriately to the severity of the condition, while strengthening the patient’s health. There are 6 other principles that guide a naturopathic doctor’s work:
First Do No Harm: Therapeutic recommendations are made only when necessary to match the severity of a condition. We utilize methods and plant and mineral substances that minimize the risk of harmful side effects.
Identify and Treat the Cause: The naturopathic doctor seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
Doctor as Teacher: Naturopathic doctors educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic doctors treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
Prevention: Naturopathic doctors emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
The following therapeutic modalities make up the bulk of a Naturopathic practice.
Nutrition: Naturopathic doctors are trained in nutritional counseling, which includes diet analysis, food allergy detection and elimination, detection of nutritional deficiencies that may be present, meal planning and strategizing, and therapeutic food recommendations.
Physical Medicine: Part of a naturopathic appointment will also address exercise, including type, duration and frequency of activity. Other therapies are stretches, and therapeutic exercises and demonstrations. Some naturopathic doctors are also trained in various types of manual therapy including acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, and visceral manipulation
Western Botanicals: All herbal and mineral supplements recommended have clinical or scientific evidence to support their use. We only carry and recommend product companies that practice good manufacturing practices (GMP). This means that substances are quality controlled, dosage controlled, and come from clean and reliable sources.
Hydrotherapy: This tool includes varied uses of water for healing purposes. The therapeutic use of water may also incorporate different essential oils.
Naturopathic Training and Scope
A licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic and clinical sciences as an MD, but also studies 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 physician also studies clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling. A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician. However, New York currently does not license Naturopathic doctors as primary care physicians. Therefore, Dr. Wong’s practice in New York does not include clinical and laboratory diagnostic testing, minor surgery, prescription medication or intravenous and injection therapy. Please see the AANMC’s Professional Competency Profile for more information.
(Modified from the American Association from Naturopathic Physicians website.)