What is a Naturopathic Physician?
A naturopathic physician is a state licensed, 4 year, postgraduate doctor trained in the art and science of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disease. The ND (Naturopathic Doctor) will typically take a thorough history, do a relevant physical exam, and order appropriate laboratory work. The ND may use other adjunctive diagnostic techniques including iris, pulse, or tongue diagnosis, electrodermal testing, kinesiology, thermography, or other diagnostic methods.
What is the Difference between an MD and an ND?
The ND uses natural medicines in preference to drugs, believes that the body has the innate ability to heal itself, works to identify and treat the cause, minimizes suffering without attempting to suppress symptoms, and supports living a healthy lifestyle to prevent disease. The therapies used by the ND are quite varied and include: osseous manipulation, somatic reeducation, massage, hydrotherapy, light and electrical stimulation, minor surgery, hormone therapy, naturopathic needling, detoxification techniques, IM & IV therapies, nutrition, oriental and Ayurvedic remedies, herbal medicine, and homeopathy. The ND will prescribe drugs or refer for drug therapy when necessary, will support the body’s ability to heal itself, and attempt to support the discontinuance of drug therapy as soon as possible. The ND will order laboratory tests, X rays, biopsies, and refer to specialists when indicated to facilitate in diagnosis. The ND will teach healthy choices, personal responsibility, and suggest lifestyle changes to help prevent disease and maintain health with interventions such as proper diet, exercise, attitude, cleanliness, water, air, and sunshine.
What is the Theory of Naturopathic Medicine?
NDs believe that the body has the power to heal itself if provided with the proper nutrition and cellular environment. Some of the impediments to the body’s recovery include toxins, structural damage, stresses, allergens, infective agents, nutritional excesses and deficiencies. The impediments must be corrected to allow the body to heal itself. Various techniques are used to support the body’s own regenerative processes, such as stimulation of the circulation, metabolism, elimination, nervous system, and glandular function. Old symptoms may resurface when the body throws off toxins, chronic infections, and begins to repair damaged tissues. The ND looks for the causes of a condition and seeks to remove them rather than simply suppressing the symptoms; attempts to give the minimum dose of a medicine or therapy needed to restore optimal function; and considers the whole person, on all levels including their environment in diagnosing and treating disease.
What is the Difference between Natural Medicines and Drugs?
Many drugs were derived from herbs, but herbs are much more complex than the single isolated chemical in a drug. The body resonates with natural substances, and herbs often act more gently, support a number of systems, and cause fewer side effects. Substances that cause symptoms in toxic doses can be extremely diluted and given as homeopathic medicines to stimulate the body to throw off those same symptoms. Thus, homeopathic medicines provide the ND with a tool to stimulate the body to resolve very unusual symptom pictures that could not be categorized as a disease condition or treated with drugs.
Why did my Dentist refer me to a Naturopathic Doctor?
The ND can help to detoxify your body before, during, and after your dentist has removed mercury amalgam fillings from your teeth. Throughout treatment, mercury levels may be assessed using a chelation challenge to mobilize the mercury from your tissues. Toxic metals are removed using a variety of therapies including IV and/or oral chelation methods, while supporting and strengthening the body. Homeopathics may be used to stimulate the body to release the stored mercury through the elimination organs (kidneys, liver, colon, and skin). The body burden may be retested after a number of chelation treatments have been administered to judge the progress of the detoxification therapy.