Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process. The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods.
The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice:
The Healing Power of Nature: Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
Identify and Treat the Cause:The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm: Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat.
- Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms.
- Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.
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 individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
Prevention: Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
Reference: Principles of Naturopathic Medicine, American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
Scope of Practice in New Mexico
Naturopathic Doctors have a large scope of practice in New Mexico. As primary care providers, New Mexico-licensed Naturopathic Doctors can:
- Evaluate, diagnose, and treat disease
- Prescribe medications, with a few exceptions
- Order diagnostic lab testing and imaging
- Refer to other physicians and specialists
- Choose to take insurance (Private insurance and New Mexico Medicaid, currently NDs are unable to take Medicare).
For more information on the scope of practice for New Mexico Naturopathic Doctors, click here.
Fore more information about Naturopathic Doctors in general, please visit these informational sites:
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians