Naturopathic doctors combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic doctors help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.
Qualified naturopathic physicians undergo rigorous training before they become licensed health-care practitioners. A licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling (to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in support of their personal health). A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician.
NDs treat all medical conditions and can provide both individual and family health care. Among the most common ailments they treat are allergies, chronic pain, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, obesity, respiratory conditions, heart disease, fertility problems, menopause, adrenal fatigue, cancer, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. NDs can perform minor surgeries in many states, such as removing cysts or stitching up superficial wounds. However, they do not practice major surgery. NDs are trained to utilize prescription drugs, although the emphasis of naturopathic medicine is the use of natural healing agents.
-from the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
Naturopathic Doctors practice the six fundamental principles of naturopathic medicine:
The Healing Power of Nature
Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself.
Identify and Treat the Causes
Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause.
First Do No Harm
Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
Doctor as Teacher
Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
Treat the Whole Person
View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions.
Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.
Dr. Diane Angela Fong, ND is the medical director of NaturalStart Medcine and heads the NaturalStart Naturopathic program. Dr. Fong developed a unique program called the NaturalStart Method, which allows her to identify and treat the underlying cause of chronic and acute illness. As a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Fong utilizes an array of naturopathic modalities to customize treatments to her individual patients. Click to read about the naturopathic modalities used by Dr. Fong.
Dr. Fong works in conjuction with Dr. Carrie when necessary to wean patients off of medications by treating the root cause, thereby eliminating the need for harmful prescription drugs. Read more about Dr. Fong and the naturopathic programs offered at NaturalStart Medicine.