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Naturopathic doctors are commonly referred to as general practitioners of alternative medicine. They are trained in the modalities of herbal medicine, acupuncture, clinical nutrition, dietary supplements, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, bodywork and lifestyle counseling.
Naturopathic medicine is based on the following six principles:
Vis Medicatrix Naturae – The Healing Power of Nature. The belief that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. The naturopathic doctor provides therapies that support this process.
Docere – Educating the patient is an important part of the treatment plan.
Primum non nocere – The principle to first do no harm is fundamental to the naturopathic practice.
Tolle causam – To treat the causes of the disease, rather than the symptoms.
Holistic approach – Each person’s treatment is individualized and takes into consideration all the presenting symptoms and causative factors.
The belief that prevention is the best medicine for good health.
Naturopathic medicine is practiced throughout the English speaking world, most notably the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
Naturopathic medicine is one of the most regulated alternative medicine professions in North America.
It is a licensed primary health profession in 11 U.S. states (and Puerto Rico) and 4 Canadian provinces.
In North America, graduates from five naturopathic medical schools are permitted to write the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) to become licensed in the regulated jurisdictions.
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