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What Is Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine Is Preventive Health Care

Naturopathic medicine is preventive health care designed to decrease overall susceptibility to stress and disease by supporting and strengthening the body’s natural defenses. In partnership with their patients, Naturopaths seek to re-establish balance and vitality.

Many contemporary ND's like Dr. Myers practice medicine in integrative medical settings and are increasingly acknowledged as leaders in bringing about progressive changes in the nation's medical system.


Accredited naturopathic medical schools like Bastyr University are four-year graduate schools with two years of hands-on clinical training. Coursework is comparable to traditional medical schools in all of the medical sciences, but also includes extensive study of naturopathic philosophy and therapeutics like nutrition, therapeutic exercise, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine and psychological counseling.

Washington law requires that graduates of naturopathic medical schools pass rigorous board examinations in order to qualify for state licensure to practice medicine. Many licensed Naturopaths like Dr. Myers continue their clinical training after graduation with residencies to hone their skills. Practicing Naturopaths keep up to date annually with continuing medical education in order to maintain their licenses.

Scope of Practice

Naturopathic medicine includes all aspects of family care, from pediatrics to geriatrics, addressing both acute and chronic ailments. Naturopaths are licensed as primary care physicians in Washington, and can provide most of the same services as traditional medical doctors including prescribing certain pharmaceuticals when indicated.

Naturopathic physicians like Dr. Myers use modern diagnostic techniques including detailed medical interviews, physical exams, laboratory testing and diagnostic imaging to assess the physical, mental and emotional condition of each patient.

While firmly science-based, modern naturopathic medicine also preserves the wisdom of successful natural therapies. In addressing your health concerns, a Naturopathic Physician may recommend changes in diet, lifestyle and exercise routine, and will employ a variety of other therapeutic tools including psychological counseling, stress management techniques, vitamin/mineral and herbal supplementation, and physical medicine modalities such as massage and hydrotherapy.
Guiding Principles of Naturopathy

  • The Healing Power of Nature
    • Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent, ordered and intelligent self-healing process in the body. Naturopathic physicians aim to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.

  • Identify and Treat the Cause
    • Naturopathic physicians seek to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.

  • First Do No Harm
    • Naturopathic physicians utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat. Naturopaths avoid harmful suppression of symptoms and acknowledge, respect and work with the individual's self-healing process to ensure noninvasive treatment.

  • Doctor as Teacher
    • Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.

  • Treat the Whole Person
    • Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account the individual's unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and spiritual condition as well as other factors that contribute to one's health and well-being.

  • Prevention
    • Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease, assessing such factors as heredity and susceptibility to disease, and work towards making the appropriate decisions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.

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