Naturopathic physicians combine and tailor these treatments to the needs of the individual in away that acknowledges the patient as a participant.
Naturopathic physicians (NDs or NMDs) are general practitioners trained as specialists in natural medicine. In practice, naturopathic physicians perform physical examinations, laboratory testing, gynecological exams, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis, and allergy testing. They may order x-ray, ultrasounds, other imaging procedures, and other diagnostic tests. They are the only primary care physicians clinically trained in the use in the following wide variety of natural therapeutics.
Naturopathic physicians understand that what you eat is the basis for your health. Adopting a healthy diet is often the first step towards correcting health problems. Many medical conditions can be treated more effectively with foods and nutritional supplements than they can by other means, but with fewer complications and side effects. Naturopathic physicians may use specific individual diets, fasting, and nutritional supplements with their patients.
Plants have powerful healing properties. Many pharmaceutical drugs have their origins in plant substances. Naturopathic physicians use plant substances for their healing effects and nutritional value.
This gentle yet effective system of medicine is more than 200 years old and is based on the principle that Like cures Like. Homeopathic medicines are very small doses of natural substances that can stimulate the body's self-healing response without side effects. Some conditions for which conventional medicine has no effective treatments will respond well to homeopathy.
Naturopathic medicine includes methods of therapeutic manipulation for muscles and bones. Naturopathic physicians also employ therapeutic exercise, massage, hydrotherapy, gentle electrical therapies, ultrasound, and heat and cold.
Some naturopathic physicians are trained in oriental medicine and diagnosis. They use acupuncture, acupressure, and Chinese herbal medicine to promote healing.
Mental attitudes and emotional states can be important elements in healing and disease. Naturopathic physicians are trained in counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, hypnotherapy, and biofeedback. They also attend to environmental and lifestyle factors that affect their patients= health.
As primary care physicians, naturopathic physicians can perform in-office minor surgery including repair of superficial wounds and removal of foreign bodies, warts and cysts with local anesthesia.