Naturopathic Medicine

a mortar and pestle surrounded by various herbs and herbal medicine,s inclding cinnamon, turmeric
a mortar and pestle surrounded by various herbs and herbal medicine,s inclding cinnamon, turmeric

Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct medical discipline that emphasizes the healing power of nature: both the intrinsic ability of our bodies to heal themselves as well as the healing properties of the natural world. Additionally, naturopathic medicine embraces the principles of:

  • Treating the whole person. Naturopathic medicine recognizes the interconnectedness of the body and aims to support the whole body.

  • Minimizing the harm done to patients. This includes providing the lowest-risk treatments possible for a given condition.

  • Teaching patients about their bodies and their health. This takes the form of thorough medical visits that are longer than those typically experienced with other types of providers.

  • Preventing disease. Naturopathic medicine focuses on the foundations of health, including diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management. Doing so helps prevent disease from happening in the first place or prevent it from recurring.

  • Treating the root cause of disease. This includes exploring all the potential influences on a patient's health and addressing disease at its source.

Naturopathic medical doctors (designated as NMD in Idaho and ND in other states) are trained in an accredited 4-year naturopathic medical education with over 4,100 hours of didactic and clinical training. They receive licensure to practice naturopathic medicine after completing naturopathic medical licensing examinations. In many states, including Idaho, naturopathic medical doctors are licensed to provide primary care medicine for patients. This includes performing physical exams, making diagnoses, ordering imaging and laboratory testing, and prescribing both natural treatment recommendations and pharmaceutical medications.

In North America, naturopathic medicine is represented professionally by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the Institute for Natural Medicine.

A Visit with a Naturopathic Physician

What to Expect

During your first appointment, Dr. Smith spends 60 to 90 minutes with you so that he can get to you well and provide truly holistic healthcare. He will:

  • Get to know you, your health journey, and your health goals

  • Understand your personal and family medical history

  • Learn about your current social history, including your occupation, health habits, stressors, and living situation

  • Take a detailed inventory of the medications and supplements you are currently taking

  • Perform a pertinent physical exam

Dr. Smith may recommend additional laboratory testing, imaging, and one or more naturopathic therapies. This could include nutritional counseling, lifestyle recommendations about sleep and exercise, botanical (herbal) remedies, supplements, homeopathic medicines, physical medicine treatments, or hydrotherapy (treatments using water).

a stethoscope with a computer
a stethoscope with a computer

Experience Naturopathic Medicine for Yourself