Welcome to "Naturopathic Medicine" a naturopathy naturopathic medicine natural medicine source of alternative medicine about natural healing resources and the body's ability to heal and maintain itself. The term "natural medicine" and "naturopatic" derives from Greek and Latin is translated as "nature disease." Naturopathic philosophy for a holistic approach and minimal use of surgery and prescription drugs.
Modern naturopathy emerged from the natural healing movement in Europe. The 'naturopatic' term was first used in 1895 by John Scheel, and popularized by Father Benedict Lust the U.S. naturopathy. Naturopathy also called naturopathic medicine is a medical system that has evolved from a combination of traditional practices and health care approaches popular in Europe during the 19th century.
From the 1970's, there was a resurgence of interest in the United States and Canada in relation to the holistic health movement. In the United States, naturopathy is practiced by naturopathic physicians, traditional naturopaths, and other health care providers who also offer naturopathic services.
Followers of naturopathic medicine (as taught in a naturopahic school) are divided into two main groups, traditional naturopaths and naturopathic physicians. Naturopathy treatment includes various methods with varying degrees of acceptance by the medical community. Treatments range from the standard diet based on evidence and lifestyle advice, ranging up to homeopathy and other practices that often characterized as pseudo science or even bordering on medical quackery.
People visit naturopathic practitioners for various health-related purposes, including primary care, overall well-being, and treatment of illnesses.
Naturopathic medicine exist in many nations, but mainly in the North American region. Naturopatic medical schools are subject to government rules regulations and levels of acceptance. The scope of practice varies widely among jurisdictions, naturopathic and placed in unregulated countries may use the naturopath designation or other titles regardless of their level of education.
The philosophical and methodological basis of naturopathy are sometimes in somewhat of a conflict with traditional medicine and medical viewpoints. For example, many naturopathic practitioners are non-vaccine and non-prescription drug based believers, a result of the healing natural philosophy which shaped the profession from its beginnings.
What Naturopathic Practitioners Do
Naturopathic practitioners use many different treatment approaches. Examples include:
- Dietary and lifestyle changes
- Stress reduction
- Herbs and other dietary supplements
- Manipulative therapies
- Exercise therapy
- Practitioner-guided detoxification
- Psychotherapy and counseling
Some practitioners use other methods as well or, if appropriate, may refer patients to conventional health care providers.
Education and Licensure of Practitioners
Education and licensing differ for the three types of naturopathic practitioners:
- Naturopathic physicians generally complete a 4-year, graduate-level program at one of the North American naturopathic medical schools accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education, an organization recognized for accreditation purposes by the U.S. Department of Education. Some U.S. states and territories have licensing requirements for naturopathic physicians; others don’t. In those jurisdictions that have licensing requirements, naturopathic physicians must graduate from a 4-year naturopathic medical college and pass an examination to receive a license. They must also fulfill annual continuing education requirements.
- Traditional naturopaths, also known simply as “naturopaths,” may receive training in a variety of ways. Training programs vary in length and content and are not accredited by organizations recognized for accreditation purposes by the U.S. Department of Education. Traditional naturopaths are often not eligible for licensing.
- Other health care providers (such as physicians, osteopathic physicians, chiropractors, dentists, and nurses) sometimes offer naturopathic treatments, functional medicine, and other holistic therapies, having pursued additional training in these areas. Training programs vary. Click-here for Health Tip-of-the-Day.
Remember that regulations, licenses, or certificates do not guarantee safe, effective treatment from any health care provider—conventional or complementary. To learn more, see the NCCIH fact sheet Credentialing, Licensing, and Education.
Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.