Healthcare Perspectives - Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine, sometimes called "naturopathy," is as old as healing itself and as new as the latest discoveries in the biochemical sciences. Hippocrates, a physician who lived over 2000 years ago, is often considered the earliest predecessor of naturopathic physicians, particularly in terms of his teaching that "nature is healer of all diseases" and his formulation of the concept vis medicatrix naturae -- "the healing power of nature." This concept has long been at the core of indigenous medicine in many cultures around the world and remains one of the central themes of naturopathic philosophy to this day.

Naturopathic medicine is a system of medicine that assists in the restoration of health by following a set of specific rules which adhere to the basic assumption that nature is orderly, and this orderliness is designed to result in ongoing life and well being. This dependable orderliness, guided by a kind of inner wisdom that everyone has, can be assisted to return a person to an optimal balance through naturopathic treatments. The earliest doctors and healers working within this framework, used herbs, foods, water, fasting and tissue manipulation -- gentle treatments that did not obscure the body's own healing powers. Today's naturopathic physicians continue to use these therapies as their main tools and advocate a healthy dose of primary prevention.

Modern naturopathic physicians (NDs) receive extensive training in and use therapies that are primarily natural (hence the name naturopathic) and nontoxic, including clinical nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, hydrotherapy, physical medicine and counseling. In addition, modern NDs conduct and make practical use of the latest biochemical research. Naturopathic physicians also function within an integrated framework referring patients to an appropriate medical specialist such as an oncologist or a surgeon as integrative partnerships between conventional medical doctors and licensed NDs are now commonplace. Naturopathic therapies can then be employed to complement the treatments used by conventionally trained medical doctors resulting in a team-care approach that recognizes the needs of the patient to receive the best overall treatment most appropriate to his or her specific medical condition.

Encouraged to work in a partnership with their naturopathic physician, people learn new behaviors and effective solutions for their overall maintenance of health, where efforts of prevention ultimately become the focus of their doctor–patient relationship.

Healing Modalities within Naturopathic Medicine

  • Biofeedback
  • Hyperbaric Chamber
  • Oriental Medicine
  • Botanical Medicine
  • Hyperthermia
  • Oxygen Therapy
  • Chelation Therapy
  • Iridology
  • Physical Medicine
  • Holistic Counseling & Education
  • Minor Surgery
  • Psychological Medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Natural Obstetrics
  • Vision Therapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Nutrition

Licensure

The state of Florida does not offer a "Naturopath" license. However, a licensed naturopathic physician from another state should have attended a 4 year graduate level maturopathic medical school and take professional board exams so that he or she may be lcensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician.


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