Naturopathic medicine fills a vital role in today’s medical system of specialists and referrals. Many chronic conditions that have been undiagnosed and are unidentifiable by modern means can be identified and supported through Naturopathic medicine’s whole-body approach.
The practice of naturopathic medicine is based on the understanding of the body’s ability to heal itself. When people experience signs and symptoms of illness, these serve as an indicator that there is an imbalance or a problem within the body. Ignoring symptoms doesn’t make the problem go away and often the signs and symptoms worsen until one has to pay attention and seek medical help. In some cases, people experience symptoms of a problem but the cause is undetermined so symptoms are ignored or are overlooked and become a new ‘normal.’ It is important to understand that our bodies are wise and use signs and symptoms to let us know when there is an imbalance. This imbalance could be cumulative; it could be based upon a lack or excess of nutritional factors; could be created by daily habits, infection or environmental issues. Instead of ignoring the problem or suppressing symptoms through the use of medicines designed to alleviate or hide symptoms to ‘help you get through your day,’ naturopathic medicine looks to support the body in dealing with these assaults in a more comfortable and efficient way. In other words, naturopathic medicine works with the body, not against it. The goal of naturopathic medicine is always to find the cause of the imbalance by allowing symptoms to guide us to the root cause of the illness or disease.
About Naturopathic Doctors
A naturopathic doctor (ND) is an expert in natural medicine. NDs blend natural, non-toxic therapies with current advancements in the study of health and human systems, covering all aspects of family health from prenatal to geriatric care. They are committed to using cutting edge medical knowledge and tools to resolve their clients’ health issues, all while maintaining the agility necessary to tailor health solutions unique to each individual client. NDs work as partners with their clients, taking the time to listen to their needs and explaining the body’s function and response so patients understand and feel part of the health care solution. NDs provide clients with the time, space and answers they need to feel cared for and supported.
Naturopathic doctors seek to uncover any underlying cause for an individual’s health concerns in an effort to prevent and reverse illness, rather than simply treat symptoms. Various factors including environmental irritants and food sensitivities are considered in order to work towards a goal of holistic and comprehensive support. Naturopathic doctors collaborate with all branches of medicine, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate. NDs are pledged to fostering individual and community health through the application of naturopathic principles.
Naturopathic doctors are trained through a traditional four-year pre-med undergraduate program, followed by an additional four year medical school with focuses on pathology, botanical medicine, nutrition, organ systems and related internal specialties. The result is a unique specialty, not in one internal system or type of illness, but in an overall understanding of the body and the inter-connectedness of its functions. NDs do have residency training available which is similar to PharmD residencies. These residencies are self funded and thus not through federal funding. RNM serves as the only CNME accredited residency site in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
What to Expect From Your Visit with a Richmond Natural Medicine Naturopathic Doctor
Naturopathic Doctors typically spend more time with their patients in order to develop a strong doctor-patient relationship. Initial consultations are quiet lengthy and subsequent appointments are longer than what you might anticipate from a medical doctor.
During your first visit, your Richmond Natural Medicine Naturopathic Doctor will gather information about your past and present medical history. They will ask for details about current concerns and symptoms but will also ask in depth questions to gain an overall picture of you, your lifestyle, your habits, family history and outside influences which may be impacting your overall health. They will inquire about your current diet, medications, stress levels, as well as your long-term health goals. During this process your ND works to create a trusting, healing environment in which patients feel at ease and are able to share fully their concerns from a physical, mental and emotional perspective.
The History of Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine has been a distinct American healthcare profession for more than 200 years. In the late 1800’s, practitioners from several medical disciplines combined to form the first naturopathic professional societies. By the early 20th century, more than 20 naturopathic medical colleges had been founded in the U.S. and NDs were licensed in a majority of states. By the 1920s, naturopathic medical conferences were attracting more than 10,000 practitioners.
Naturopathic medicine experienced a decline in the mid-20th century with the rise of technological medicine, pharmaceutical drugs, and the quick-fix idea that drugs and surgery could eliminate all diseases. Over the past three decades, a health conscious public has increasingly sought healing through natural medicine. Naturopathic medicine has served in this capacity as a natural, useful, and cost-effective solution.
Do you have more questions about Naturopathic Medicine? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions on Naturopathic Medicine.
Naturopathic Medicine adheres to six principles:
- Let nature heal
- Identify and treat the cause
- Do no harm
- Doctor as teacher
- Treat the whole person
- Prevent illness and preserve health
The practice of naturopathic medicine is based on the understanding of the body’s ability to heal itself. When people experience signs and symptoms of illness, these symptoms serve as an indicator that there is an imbalance or a problem. Ignoring these symptoms doesn’t make the problem go away; often times the signs and symptoms worsen until one has to pay attention and gain medical help. In some cases, people experience symptoms of a problem but the cause is undetermined or it is overlooked. However, the body is wise, using signs and symptoms to let you know that there is an imbalance. This imbalance could be cumulative or based upon lack or excess of nutritional factors, daily habits, infection or environmental issues. Instead of ignoring or suppressing symptoms or signs of a problem, naturopathic medicine looks to support the body to deal with these assaults in a more comfortable and efficient way – in other words, working with the body, not against it. The goal is to find the cause of the imbalance and use the symptoms to guide and lead one to finding the cause of disease.
Learn More About The Naturopathic Doctors at Richmond Natural Medicine
Richmond Natural Medicine currently has four Naturopathic Doctors and is proud to be the largest Naturopathic Medical Practice in Virginia. All our NDs are highly trained with graduate degrees in Medical Training from one of seven the nationally accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges in North America. You can learn more about the schools and training at Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges.