What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine in Michigan is a distinctively natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the wisdom of the natural healing process. By emphasizing balance through the stimulation, enhancement, and support of the inherent healing capacity of the patient, Naturopathic Medicine achieves a deeper level of healing.
Naturopathic Physicians are trained to serve as primary care general practitioners who are experts in the prevention, management, and treatment of both acute and chronic health conditions. Michigan has yet to recognize ND’s as primary care or Licensed Physicians, and legislation is being presented to change this.
Naturopathic Medicine is based on the following principles
1. First, Do No Harm
Naturopathic medicine uses therapies that are safe and effective.
￼2. The Healing Power of Nature
The human body possesses the inherent ability to restore health. The physician’s role is to facilitate this process with the aid of natural and nontoxic therapies.
3. Identify and Treat the Causes
Physicians seek and treat the underlying cause of a disease. Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body’s natural attempt to heal. The origin of the disease is removed or treated so the patient can recover.
4. Treat the Whole Person
The multiple factors in health and disease are considered while treating the whole person. Physicians provide flexible treatment programs to meet individual health care needs.
5. Doctor as Teacher
The physician’s major role is to educate, empower, and motivate patients to take responsibility for their own health for knowledge is truly power. Creating a healthy, cooperative relationship with the patient has a strong therapeutic value.
6. Prevention is the best “cure”
Naturopathic physicians are preventive medicine specialists. Physicians assess patient risk factors and heredity susceptibility and intervene appropriately to reduce risk and prevent illness. Prevention of disease is best accomplished through education and a lifestyle that supports health.
Naturopathic medicine’s ultimate goal is to establish and maintain optimum health and balance. Wellness is a state of being healthy, characterized by positive emotion, action, and thought.
Is naturopathic medicine safe?
Yes, it is very safe. One of the primary goals of naturopathic medicine is “First Do No Harm.” The goal is to help you feel better without causing harm or uncomfortable side effects. This is especially true when it comes to the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, and the negative impact they can have on other areas of the body, apart from the area it was intended to treat.
ND’s are also trained in looking at the body as a whole, and analyzing the effects of how one system, or blockage, can have far-reaching effects upon other systems or areas of health, and to make sure all systems operate in harmony as a whole.
What type of training does a naturopathic doctor receive?
Naturopathic Doctors, like other medical doctors, first must complete their premedical undergraduate studies. After that, they complete a 4-year doctorate level medial training from one of four recognized schools in North America.
Similar to the curriculum at a conventional medical school, the first two years of naturopathic medicine are focused on obtaining an in-depth understanding of the function of and development of disease in the body.
Naturopathic students complete at least 1,200 hours in the teaching clinic treating patients under the close supervision of a licensed naturopathic physician, as well as 300 hours observing naturopathic doctors in the community.
Upon successful graduation from Naturopathic Medical College, they must pass the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Board Examinations (NPLEX) in order to qualify for licensing as a Naturopathic Doctor (ND).
Upon completion of this education, naturopathic physicians are qualified to work as primary care physicians.
Are Naturopaths the same as Naturopathic Doctors?
No. This can be dangerous and misleading as Naturopaths receive only months of training. Naturopaths can receive training from many sources, even online, that may result in a certificate or specialty in a form of alternative medicine. This can be a public safety issue, if they are represented as Doctors, when their education lacks the medical training.
How is naturopathic medicine different from conventional medicine?
Naturopathic medicine uses broader strategy than conventional medicine. The goal for patients is the restoration of their overall health, and not just the improvement of their symptoms, as is the cause many in conventional medicine.
Dr. Cutler gets to the root by creating balance and using treatments that stimulate the natural healing mechanisms of the body.
There are now medical doctors who are making the switch to get into Natural Medicine, and they do so by taking weekend courses in holistic health. This is a very different case than a truly trained Naturopathic Doctor.
Are all Naturopathic Doctors trained the same?
No. Initially all ND’s graduate from a four-year medical program. After, they can go on to get additional training in a field of specialty. Dr. Cutler has continued his education in Environmental Medicine and is one of the only Naturopathic Doctors in Michigan to specialize in this field.
What types of patients do Naturopathic Doctors typically see?
Naturopathic Doctors can see most chronic, and certain acute conditions. Naturopathic Medicine can help everything from Chronic fatigue, Allergies, Depression, Anxiety, Pain, Thyroid, Weight, Digestive Issues, Women’s Health/ Hormones/ Fertility, Cancer, Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Food Sensitivities, Environmental Toxic Exposures, Children’s Issues, and more.
If I have a Medical Doctor, do I still need Naturopathic Medicine?
Yes, most places where Naturopathic Medicine is prevalent, people have an MD along with an ND. Naturopathic medicine works very well when used in conjunction with other forms of medicine. Dr. Cutler will put together an individualized plan that will work with your current condition, needs, and goals.