Naturopathic Medicine

New Hampshire Association of Naturopathic Doctors

What is Naturopathic Medicine?


Utilizing both natural therapies and modern tools, naturopathic medicine is a profoundly effective form of medicine for people of all ages. It is a medicine that identifies and treats the underlying cause of illnesses. It encompasses prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses on physical, mental, and emotional levels. It removes obstacles to healing and supports the natural healing processes of the individual patient. It is a potent combination of art and science.

In New Hampshire, naturopathic doctors (NDs), are licensed after completing naturopathic medical school and passing rigorous board exams. Trained to provide primary care, NDs offer a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic tools.

For further information on the philosophy and therapies utilized in naturopathic medicine, see below.

Nutritional Medicine

Based on the foundational philosophy of “food as medicine”, naturopathic medicine offers various dietary recommendations, protocols, and nutritional supplements based on an individual’s needs and current scientific research.

Preventative Medicine

Analyzing various health factors for an individual such as diet, movement, stress, and family history to create a therapeutic protocol to prevent disease and promote wellness.

Physical Medicine

NDs are trained in physical manipulations of the muscles, skeletal system and connective tissue to correct misalignments and reduce/remove pain and immobility. This also includes the use of massage, exercise, ultrasound, and water-based therapies.

Botanical (Herbal) Medicine

NDs are extensively trained in the medicinal use of herbs and plants, both the traditional uses and those supported by modern science. Naturopathic doctors are the only experts in the safe and proper use of botanical remedies in conjunction with pharmaceutical medicine.

Homeopathic Medicine

Homeopathy is a separate form of medicine and philosophy that naturopathic doctors are trained in during their schooling (see The Difference Between Naturopathic Medicine and Homeopathy). It offers extremely diluted amounts of natural substances which offer a gentle, yet profound way to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Additional Certifications & Trainings

Some naturopathic doctors choose to receive advanced training in focused specialties, such as IV nutrient therapy, Lyme disease treatment, or midwifery. A naturopathic doctor can go on to become board certified in oncology, pediatrics, and endocrinology.

Naturopathic Medicine Principles

The principles of naturopathic medicine are what guide each encounter one has with a naturopathic doctor and can exemplify how unique this form of medicine truly is. They are as follows (in no particular order):
First do no harm
An oath taken by all doctors. A naturopathic doctor has the tools and training to choose the right level of intervention (natural and/or conventional), for the level of illness present, as to not cause further harm or side effects.
Identify and treat the cause
Naturopathic medicine asks the question “why is this symptom happening?” Naturopathic doctors search deeper into the cause of the symptom that your body may be experiencing. This is an individualized approach for each patient, with the goal to remove the symptom entirely, not just palliate.
Treat the whole person
Naturopathic doctors view each person as a complex and creative being. Each person is not seen as a group of symptoms or disease. Each person is a unique individual- physically, mentally and emotionally. Naturopathic medicine understands, acknowledges, and celebrates this throughout your health journey and addresses each aspect.
The healing power of nature
Whether it is assisting in creating a lifestyle that will lead to a natural healing process, or utilizing targeted natural therapies, naturopathic medicine can offer a variety of options for effective natural approaches. Naturopathic doctors are the most highly trained in the field of choosing the best natural option for supporting your health.
Doctor as teacher
The word doctor comes from the Latin word “docere” meaning “to teach”. Naturopathic doctors believe patients should be empowered in their health and well being. They take the time to talk, educate and discuss with their patients ensuring the patient has the necessary understanding of their care. Typically a visit to a naturopathic doctor is longer than your typical doctor’s visit, allowing more time for education.
By addressing a variety of health risks including diet, exercise, stress, and family history, naturopathic medicine focuses on teaching each patient in the prevention of disease.