What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Medicine is a system of healthcare that aims to identify and treat the cause of disease using the most natural and non-invasive therapies appropriate for the condition.

Naturopathic medicine is a vitalist medicine, meaning physicians believe that each of us has the capacity to heal ourselves. The naturopathic physician thus aims to identify obstacles to the self-healing process and correct them, thus allowing health to be restored.

Naturopathic physicians use the least invasive, most natural treatments, customized for each patient. Since each person is unique, and will have individualized responses to the stressors that cause a disease process, the treatments for each condition will also be individualized. In some cases, conventional medicines like antibiotics may also be utilized if deemed appropriate.

Naturopathic Training

Naturopathic physicians must complete a four-year Bachelor’s degree with Pre-Med course work then attend 4 years of medical school at an accredited institution such as the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. As in conventional medical schools, Naturopathic Students are required to sit for two sets of rigorous national board examinations in order to receive their medical license.

Naturopathic medical schools teach all the sciences you would expect any doctor to know, as well as pharmacology, minor surgery, basic clinical specialties and extensive clinical training. What distinguishes naturopathic medical education is the philosophy of getting to the root of health concerns plus intensive additional focus on the tools of natural medicine: herbs, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, nutrition, physical medicine, mind/body medicine and others.

Residency programs, such as the general medicine residency at the Southwest Naturopathic Medical Center completed by Dr. Stage, further enhance the knowledge and efficacy of naturopathic physicians.

Naturopathic Principles

Primum non nocere / First, do no harm
Naturopathic medicine uses therapies that are safe and effective.
Vis medicatrix naturae / The healing power of nature
The body has the innate ability to heal itself; the physician’s responsibility is to optimize this healing process
Tolle Causum / Treat the cause
Rather than eliminating or suppressing a symptom, it is necessary to identify and treat the underlying cause of disease.
Tolle Totum / Treat the whole person
It is necessary to consider individual health factors and influences when treating a patient, including body, mind, and soul.
Docere / Doctor as Teacher
Naturopathic Doctors are teachers who educate and inspire patients to feel empowered about their wellness.
Praevenire / Prevention
Prevention of disease is the key to optimal health and well-being.