One of the most common misconceptions about naturopathic medicine and naturopathic doctors is that they aren’t real doctors. As we’ve written about in the past, naturopathic doctors, or NDs, attain similar levels of education as MDs. They must also obtain over 1000 clinical patient hours and pass a licensing board exam in order to practice naturopathic medicine. The major difference between an ND and an MD is the fundamental philosophy on how a patient’s symptoms should be treated. Naturopathic doctors believe in whole-body wellness, and work to identify, diagnose, and treat the underlying causes of a patient’s symptoms. Whereas MDs are often more concerned with providing relief for symptoms, rather than prevention of what is causing the symptoms. In the remainder of this post, we are going to help set the record straight: Naturopathic Doctors are real doctors and are licensed to practice naturopathic medicine with patients of all ages.

What makes naturopathic medicine different from conventional medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the human body has an innate healing ability. Therefore, naturopathic doctors seek to enhance the body’s own ability to ward off and combat disease by crafting personalized comprehensive treatment plans that target a patient’s total health and well-being. Naturopathic doctors utilize a combination of modern medical science and traditional natural medicine to treat disease, restore health, and prevent future maladies. Naturopathic treatment is not a one-sized fits all treatment. Each patient receives one-on-one consultations and personalized whole-health treatment plans. A person’s illness, medical history, lifestyle, habits, mental health, and even spirituality are all taken into account before a naturopathic doctor devises a treatment plan.

telemedicine for senior citizens. elderly male on sofa during telehealth appointment with naturopathic doctor

Naturopathic doctors are capable of providing primary care services to patients of all ages. NDs consult with children, teens, young adults, adults, and seniors alike to identify and treat the underlying causes of their symptoms. NDs can perform consultations, annual examinations, order labs and tests, make diagnoses, prescribe natural and in some cases pharmaceutical treatment, and even perform minor surgery. Many NDs work alongside conventional medical doctors, working in conjunction to craft a treatment plan for patients to bring about a well balanced, total health treatment plan.

What can Naturopathic Doctors Treat?

Naturopathic doctors spend no less than 4 years of post graduate medical education studying the same basic medical sciences as conventional doctors. In addition to that, they are also well-versed in natural healing modalities such as botanical medicine, nutrition, physical adjustments, mental health counseling, and more. This allows NDs to identify and treat a wide range of diseases, illness, acute and chronic pain. Here’s a list of some of the ailments Naturopathic Doctors commonly treat.

  • Fatigue and Stress
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Fertility Issues
  • Musculoskeletal Complaints
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Thyroid Disorders
  • Dermatological issues
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Digestive/Gut Issues
  • High Blood Pressure/Hypertension

What kind of Treatments do Naturopathic Doctors Use?

Thanks to their educational background, naturopathic doctors are well-versed in a variety of treatments and therapies. An NDs role is to utilize naturopathic medicine to put the medical pieces together in order to heal the entire person, not just the disease. Here are some of the treatments commonly utilized by naturopathic doctors:

  • Lifestyle Counseling
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Massage Therapy
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Dietary Supplements
  • IV Nutrient Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise Recommendations
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Environmental Detoxification

Common Myths about Naturopathic Medicine

⊗ Naturopathic Treatment Yields Quick Results

Naturopathic treatment does not only target the symptoms of a disease, but rather addresses the root cause of the disease. The course of treatment to take time, especially if the health issue is chronic in nature. Patience and persistent adherence to a naturopathic treatment plan is essential for a complete, whole-body healing.

⊗ Naturopathy is Not Backed by Science

Naturopathic Medicine in states that require a licensure is under similar scrutiny to conventional medicine. Many naturopathic doctors choose to dedicate their careers to scientific study in order to better provide whole-health treatments to patients who are looking for alternative method of healing than using conventional medicine and treatment.

⊗ Patients HAVE to Choose Between Naturopathic Medicine or Conventional Medicine

As previously mentioned, many naturopathic doctors work alongside and consult with medical doctors to devise a treatment plan that is patient centered. One of the major goals of naturopathic medicine is to provide access to healthcare to patients. Therefore it would go against logic to say that NDs are against conventional medicine and treatments. Rather, NDs are happy to provide natural alternatives for patients that can be used either on their own or in conjunction with conventional medicine and treatments.

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ND On Demand: Naturopathic Telemedicine in Arizona

ND On Demand offers online naturopathic telemedicine to patients living in Arizona. Our team of fully licensed naturopathic doctors in Arizona are available to meet with patients conveniently online through advances in telemedicine. If you are considering a naturopathic approach to your health, we invite you schedule an online naturopathic doctor appointment today or contact us to learn more about naturopathic medicine services.