Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care that emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process through the use of natural therapies. While the roots of naturopathic medicine date back to the 1890s, naturopathic medicine has witnessed a rapid increase in public interest in recent years as a result of the growing consumer movement to solve the health care puzzle using prevention, wellness and respect for nature's inherent healing ability.
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are primary care physicians who blend centuries-old knowledge and a philosophy that nature is the most effective healer with current research on health and human systems. They have attended a four-year naturopathic medical school, are clinically trained, and work in all aspects of family health — from pediatric to geriatric care. Most NDs provide primary care through office-based private practice, but a growing number are in clinic settings.
Naturopathic diagnosis focuses on identifying the underlying causes of disease, while naturopathic therapies are supported by research drawn from peer-reviewed journals from many disciplines, including naturopathic medicine, conventional medicine, European complementary medicine, clinical nutrition, phytotherapy, pharmacognosy, homeopathy, psychology and spirituality.
The therapeutic modalities used in naturopathic medicine (including physical manipulation, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy and hydrotherapy) integrate conventional, scientific and empirical methodology with the ancient laws of nature.