Frequently Asked Questions

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Medicine is based on the belief that the body has the innate ability to heal itself. Naturopathic Physicians do not treat diseases; instead, they treat the whole patient who is sitting in front of them. For this reason, treatment plans offered by Naturopathic Physicians are highly individualized and based on the unique needs of the patient. NDs work with their patients to uncover the root cause of their symptoms, so they can help bring the whole patient back into balance to restore health and promote wellness.

What are the principles of Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Physicians practice the six fundamental principles of Naturopathic Medicine: Primum Non Nocere - First Do No Harm
Utilize the most natural, least invasive, and least toxic therapies.

Vis Medicatrix Naturae - The Healing Power of Nature
Trust in the body’s innate wisdom to heal itself. Tolle Causam - Identify and Treat the Causes
Look beyond the symptoms to find the underlying cause. Docere - Doctor as Teacher
Educate patients and work with them to achieve and maintain health. Tolle Totum - Treat the Whole Person
View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions. Praevenire - Prevention
Focus on overall health, wellness, and the prevention of disease.

How are licensed Naturopathic Physicians trained?

Licensed Naturopathic Physicians are trained in accredited four-year naturopathic medical schools where they receive training in the same medical sciences offered in allopathic medical schools. In addition, Naturopathic Physicians receive training in natural therapies such as Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Physical Medicine, Mind-Body Medicine, Hydrotherapy, Botanical Medicine, and Therapeutic Nutrition. Students of Naturopathic Medicine also complete two years of clinical training under the supervision of attending physicians. Throughout the training, there is a strong emphasis on disease prevention and the optimization of health.

Naturopathic Physicians who have been trained at one of the seven accredited 4-year Naturopathic Medical Schools and who have passed the rigorous NPLEX board examinations that are required for licensure can receive a license to practice medicine. Currently, sixteen states, The District of Columbia, and the United States territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have licensing laws for Naturopathic Physicians.

The following states have licensing laws for Naturopathic Physicians: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, United States Territories: Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.

Is Homebirth Safe?

The largest prospective study of planned home birth with a direct-entry midwife shows that homebirth is as safe as hospital birth for low risk women, yet carries a much lower rate of medical interventions, including Cesarean section. This landmark study is reported in the latest issue of British Medical Journal, June 2005. Planning a home birth attended by a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) offers as safe an outcome for low-risk mothers and babies as does hospital birth. This study is the largest yet of its kind. The researchers used prospective data on more than 5400 planned home births in North America attended by Certified Professional Midwives during the year 2000. Check it out!

"Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America." Kenneth C Johnson, senior epidemiologist, Betty-Anne Daviss, project manager. BMJ 2005;330:1416 (18 June).

What happens if there is an emergency during my homebirth?

Normal, natural childbirth is not an emergency, and often happens very smoothly in the comfort of one's home. Sometimes, whether the patient is in the hospital or at home, emergencies may occur during labor, birth, or the immediate postpartum period. Midwives are extensively trained to recognize signs that lie outside of what is normally expected to occur during childbirth, and are well-prepared to deal with many of the emergencies that may arise without leaving the house. Because we are constantly monitoring the condition of the mother and the baby throughout the entire experience, we are able to recognize if there is a need to transport the mother and/or the baby to the hospital to continue the birth experience. As homebirth attendants, we always advocate for what is in the best interest of the mother and the baby, and do not hesitate to seek emergency care if it is needed.