Naturopathic Principles

  • First Do No Harm Naturopathic medicine aims to restore health using safe, gentle, effective therapies that support the body’s innate healing capacity without suppressing symptoms or causing harmful side effects.
  • The Healing Power of Nature Naturopathic doctors seek to identify and remove obstacles to health in order to facilitate the self-healing process within each individual.
  • Identify and Treat the Cause Naturopathic doctors do not just treat symptoms, but rather use them as a guide to recognize and remove underlying causes of illness.
  • Doctor as Teacher Naturopathic doctors empower patients to take an active part in their health by giving them the tools and resources necessary to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Treat the Whole Person When it comes to developing a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan, naturopathic doctors take into account the many factors that influence a patient’s health–their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, genetic and environmental makeup.
  • Prevention Building a strong foundation of health is the key to optimal wellness. NDs educate, empower and guide patients to create and maintain and healthy lifestyle and minimize risk factors that predispose to disease.
  • Education Naturopathic doctors attend one of only four accredited naturopathic medical schools in the country. Naturopathic doctors are required to complete four-year, graduate-level medical education and training that involves 2 years of medical sciences and 2 years of clinical science with emphasis in clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, pharmacology, and minor surgery.
  • Licensure Graduates from an accredited naturopathic medical college must pass national board licensing examinations in order to practice medicine in one of the 14 licensed states. In these states, doctors are required to graduate from an approved four-year naturopathic medical school and pass a postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX) in order to receive a license. Licensed naturopathic physicians must also fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements annually. In California, licensing is regulated by the California Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine, which defines the scope of practice for naturopathic doctors. In states with licensing laws, it is important to distinguish between naturopathic physicians who have received graduate-level education and training from an accredited four-year medical school and traditional naturopaths with only correspondence or online training. While traditional naturopaths are considered healers, they have limited scope of practice and training, therefore, they are health consultants, not doctors.