What is Naturopathic Medicine?
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians states it nicely by saying, "Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and an optimal healing process. The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods."
The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The Healing Power of Nature
We have been blessed with the ability to heal ourselves and we must support those natural processes, not suppress them.
Find and Treat the Cause
We are always asking ourselves what needs to be healed. With that said, naturopathic doctors work to find the causation of the symptoms and repair that.
First Do No Harm
Naturopathic doctors utilize diagnostic and treatment methods that minimize harmful side effects and risks, avoid the suppression of symptoms, and respect the patient's healing process.
Treat the Whole Person
We treat not only the physical ailments, but also the mental, emotional, and spiritual ailments as well.
Doctor as Teacher
Healing takes time but also a self responsibility within the patient. Naturopathic doctors help guide and empower their patients to take their health and daily choices into their own hands through education and support.
"An ounce of prevention is worth more than a ton of cure." Prevention is key and naturopathic doctors strive to remove harmful obstacles that may lead to disease. We give tools to prevent the progression and/or slow down the progression of a chronic disease.
Scope of Practice
Naturopathic Doctors in North Carolina
North Carolina does not hold licensure for naturopathic doctors but all providers with Summit Vitality maintain an active license from another state which means they must maintain their continuing education requirements. Because of the lack of licensure, our provders can not prescribe pharmaceuticals, perform minor surgeries, administer injections, or diagnose illnesses. For this very reason, we may not replace your general practitioner and ask that all patients have a primary care provider on their health care team. With that said, below is a full description of the scope of practice of a naturopathic doctor in a licensed state with some additional resources.
Naturopathic Doctors in Licensed States
Naturopathic physicians (NDs) are trained to provide primary care and/or naturopathic specialty care to patients of all ages. NDs see patients with acute and chronic conditions and employ all standard conventional diagnostic tools including physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging. NDs may utilize additional physical and laboratory procedures to assess nutritional status, metabolic function, and/or toxic load, while considerable time may also be spent assessing mental, emotional, social, and spiritual status to assure any treatment plan is comprehensive.
NDs use a variety of therapies to promote health and treat disease including: dietetics, therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine, physical medicine, naturopathic manipulative therapy, lifestyle counseling, exercise therapy, homeopathy, psychological and family counseling, and hydrotherapy. NDs can perform minor office procedures appropriate to a primary care setting, administer vaccinations, and prescribe most standard drugs when indicated. Like other primary doctors, NDs delegate to nurses and medical assistants and refer to specialists when appropriate.