What is Naturopathy?

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According to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians: Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process.  The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) blend centuries-old knowledge and a philosophy that nature is the most effective healer with current research on health and human systems.

 NDs also study holistic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and promoting wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, NDs are trained in clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, physical medicine and counseling. Another distinguishing feature is the treatment philosophy: Naturopathic doctors see the physician as someone who facilitates healing by identifying and removing barriers to health.

Naturopathy is not a universally licensed practice, so there is a great deal of variation in each individual Naturopathic Doctor’s training.

Some educational programs focus on clinical applications, others emphasize energetic applications.

My focus will be clinical, orthomolecular medicine.

 

What is Orthomolecular Medicine?

 “Orthomolecular medicine aims to restore the optimum environment of the body by correcting imbalances or deficiencies based on individual biochemistry, using substances natural to the body such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements and fatty acids. The key idea in orthomolecular medicine is that genetic factors affect not only the physical characteristics of individuals, but also their biochemical milieu.”

 

How did you choose the school?

Because the state of WV, and in fact most states in the union, do not have licensing programs for NDs, I chose a distance learning institution. This allows me to live in my beautiful home in the Greenbrier Valley and maintain my current practice … rather than having to close down my practice and move to the West Coast to earn my degree.

I wanted a program that focused on clinical applications and allowed me to tailor my curriculum to enhance my niche practice in complementary care.  Because I cannot be licensed in WV, I will work as a complementary care provider rather than a primary care physician. Only licensed physicians can use technology such as CT scans, MRIs, Xrays, endoscopy etc. So, when I have a patient that needs to be monitored with such technology, they will still need to see a licensed MD.

This led me to the University of Natural Medicine based in Hawaii.  Dr. Smith, Dean of Students, worked with my interests to develop a curriculum best suited for my needs.

 

What kinds of classes will you be taking?

 SCI 320 Human Anatomy & Physiology

SCI 401 Clinical Biochemistry

SCI 455 Basic Sciences/Human Biology (Histology, Embryology, Microbiology/Parasitology, Genetics, Immunology)

NUT 304 Clinical Nutrition

HM 305 Homeopathy I

NM 303 Botanical Medicine I

NM 304 Certificate in Herbal Studies

SCI 408 Pathology I

NM 503 Physical Examination & Diagnosis

NM 309 Detoxification and Nature Cure

NM 507 Functional Medicine

SCI 418 Holistic Blood Chemistry & Urinalysis

IR 400 Iridology

NM 307 Toxic Metal/Tissue Mineral Hair Analysis

NM 401 Naturopathy: History & Practice

NM 402 Naturopathic Practice I

PT 407 Physiotherapeutic Modalities

PHM 608 Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology

NM 310 Color Therapy

SCI 504 Functional Medical Lab Analysis

NUT 460 Holistic Nutrition

NM 311 Gastroenterology I & Colon Therapy

Clinic (Required for DNM)

HM 500 Homeopathy II

PSY 402 Naturopathic Psychiatry


NM 406 Naturopathic Manipulations I

NUT 412 Cell Nutrition / Oligo & Trace Elements

NM 501Botanical Medicine/Herbology II

NM 502 Naturopathic Practice II

NM 506 Naturopathic Manipulations II

NM 518 Naturopathic Women’s Health & Gynecology

NM 403 Naturopathic Pediatrics

LAW 418 Jurisprudence

PHL 320 Ethics

NM 517 CPR/First Aid

BUS 419 Business Practice/Office Management

RAD 505 Radiological Analysis

NUT 307 Whole Nutrition

PSY 444 Intro. to Applied Counseling

SCI 317 Elemental Chemistry

 Body/Mind or Clinical Psychophysiology

 Clinic (Required for ND)

 

 

What kind of degree will you have?

I will have a Doctor of Natural Medicine degree (D.N.M.) and I will be eligible for board certification with the American Naturopathic Medical Certification Board and the American Alternative Medical Association if I so choose.

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