Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct method of primary health care — an art, science, philosophy and practice of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illness. Naturopathic physicians seek to restore and maintain optimum health in their patients by emphasizing nature’s inherent self-healing process, the vis medicatrix naturae. This is accomplished through education and the rational use of natural therapeutics.
Naturopathic Medicine is:
A defined discipline, a system of medicine
A separate and distinct branch of the healing arts
A practice based on the restoration of health
Practicing Naturopathic Medicine is based on six principles (Below) which are guides for the practitioner of naturopathic medicine. As guides, they may be interpreted in different ways by different doctors. Thus, our medicine has richness and spontaneity, which allows for great diversity yet, at the same time, unites us.
Naturopathic Doctors, such as Dr. Kirby Thompson, ND, MSOM, LAc, address the whole person and take into consideration of how a person got into the state of dis-health they currently have. This takes into account mental, physical, emotional, social, genetic, relationships and other factors that determine your health. We address the health problems using the Therapeutic Order.
Naturopathic Doctors are healthcare providers. We interview you about your exercise, habits, sleep and emotional state, in order to understand why you are ill. We take an extensive history and often spend a great deal of time with you in the first visit in order to put together an assessment and therapy order for naturopathic services, and answer any questions.
Naturopathic Doctors use traditional and functional tools for assessing health concerns and determining the most appropriate naturopathic services program. The tools used include:
Thorough Health History
The initial intake with a Naturopathic Doctor is usually about 1½ to 2 hours in length and includes a detailed history. A Naturopathic Doctor will take the time to find out about your family history, your lifestyle, the stressors in your life, past medical history, history of accidents or injuries and the significant events in your life that have affected your health or well being. Often Naturopathic Doctors will use questionnaires to ensure that they are aware of the factors that may be affecting your current health status.
Understanding your nutritional status, eating habits and patterns and the type of food that you eat on a regular is an important part of the naturopathic assessment. Naturopathic Doctors will often take the time to assess the impact that diet is having on health and your body’s ability to handle the food that you are eating.
Naturopathic Doctors are trained to do complete physical exams as use them as a standard part of an assessment. As your health changes or as acute situations arise, Naturopathic Doctors will use aspects of the physical examination to aid in assessment of your health concerns. Naturopathic Doctors often take the time to ensure that the “small” symptoms are identified and addressed before they become a “bigger” problem.
Traditional and Functional Assessments
Pulse and tongue evaluations, organ reflux analysis, acoustic cardiography, body fluid evaluations, iris patterns, bioenergetic and other traditional and functional assessments as done as part of our comprehensive naturopathic evaluations. These techniques often reveal chronic, underlying disturbances and that we want to address to help in restoring health.
Laboratory testing, including urine analysis, blood work, saliva testing and genetic screening is an essential aspect of a complete medical assessment for Naturopathic services. Naturopathic Doctors will use standard laboratory testing to provide them with further information for a complete assessment on a functional medical basis.
Previous Medical Reports and Diagnostic Testing
All medical reports, such as MRIs, X-rays or scans are valuable assets that a Naturopathic doctor will use during their assessment of your health concerns. Naturopathic Doctors will refer to another medical health professional when appropriate to ensure that all patients receive the best quality health care possible and that all required information is available in order to fully understand the root causes of a patient’s health concerns.
What is the Education of a Naturopathic Doctor
Naturopathic Doctors attend four-year, graduate level programs at naturopathic medical institutions recognized by the US Department of Education. There are currently seven such schools in North America.
Naturopathic medical schools provide the same foundational coursework as conventional medical schools. In addition, ND programs provide extensive education unique to naturopathic treatment approach, Focusing on the therapeutic order. In order to receive licensing, naturopathic physicians must pass North American and provincial board exams after graduation.
Naturopathic Doctors have expertise in drug/herb/nutrient interactions. Since they are also extensively trained in pharmacology, NDs are able to integrate natural therapies safely with prescription medications, often working with conventional medical physicians and osteopathic physicians to ensure you the most comprehensive and safest care possible.
To find out more about Naturopathic Doctors and education please visit one of the following links: