Naturopathic physicians are board-licensed primary care physicians in the state of Washington. We attend 4 years of medical school, and use a variety of diagnostic methods including blood, urine, saliva, and stool testing and perform adult and child physicals and gynecological exams. Naturopathic therapies include clinical nutrition, diet and lifestyle counseling, botanical and homeopathic medicines, musculoskeletal manipulation and hydrotherapy (water therapy). Naturopathic physicians can also prescribe most prescription medicines.
PRINCIPLES OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE
- Do no harm: Naturopathic physicians use the least invasive, gentlest method to heal the body. Naturopathic treatments are often less toxic than other conventional therapies and do not suppress the symptoms since this can interfere with healing. Often the body can heal itself with a little gentle support.
- The healing power of nature: Naturopaths believe the body has an innate ability to heal itself and we use the natural elements of air, light, water, food, touch, and love to enable healing. We also use plants and nutrients from nature to stimulate and support healing.
- Find the cause: Naturopaths try to ascertain the cause of the disease instead of simply covering up symptoms, then work with the person to remove the cause as much as possible to enable healing.
- Treat the whole person: Instead of simply treating one body part, naturopaths focus on treating the person as a whole: body, mind, and spirit. Naturopathic medicine is also individualized for each unique person.
- Doctor as teacher: The word doctor comes from a root which means “to teach”. Naturopaths take time for patient education and emphasize patient responsibility; they emphasize the patient’s partnership with the physician to enable their own healing.
- Prevention: Naturopaths do standard preventive screenings such as blood testing, PAP smears, and mammograms, and we also have a great deal of training about healthy diet, exercise, stress reduction, relaxation, and healthy lifestyle.
- Wellness: Naturopaths emphasize ways to achieve optimal health and wellness in our busy lives today.