DOCTOR TITLE - TYPE
TRADITIONAL NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIAN
Michael is a Traditional Naturopathic - Certified Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Medicine & Neuroscience. Michael has the privilege of helping educate people to get to the root cause of specific health challenges. A traditional naturopath is someone educated in alternative and complementary healing modalities, known collectively as holistic medicine or natural health. However, traditional naturopaths, or holistic health practitioners, do not practice medicine, nor do they treat, diagnose, or prescribe. This includes the use and promotion of self-injections, even something as 'innocent' as vitamin B-12 shots, for example, regardless of the laws in their state, as this is outside the scope of our practice. Furthermore, TNDs are not NDs. Graduates from our program may not use the professional designation 'ND'. In some states, they may be legally permitted to use 'TND' (for traditional naturopathic doctor) or 'TNP' (for traditional naturopathic practitioner). However, other states restrict any use of the term naturopath at all —this includes licensed naturopaths, who must practice as 'health coaches' in such jurisdictions. Students and graduates are responsible for doing their own research for the laws in their own city, state, and country to see if it is more preferable to use 'CHHP', for 'certified holistic health practitioner' as an alternative. According to Bill Bailey, a traditional naturopath, "The practice of Traditional Naturopathy is recognized as a common occupation at the Federal level (U.S. Congress 1928, 1930, and 30 Federal Court rulings between 1958 and 1978) and as such it is a profession protected under the 14th and 9th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
The definition of Doctor: a word meaning ‘teacher’ from the Latin-derived word ‘docere,’ to teach; anyone who is recognized to have acquired sufficient knowledge in a subject to be a teacher of the subject.
“Doctor” has been an honored academic title in Europe for over a thousand years dating back to the rise of the first Christian universities. The right to grant a "licentia docendi" or a license to teach was originally reserved to the Christian church, which required the applicant to pass a test, take an oath and pay a fee to be able to teach theology or health philosophies.
As the early universities slowly emancipated themselves from the church, university studies divided into theology, law and medicine, at which time the first medicinae doctor or “teacher of medicine” M.D. degrees were awarded.
Naturopathic Physician comes from the Latin word ‘physica’ which means ‘natural science’ and Greek word ‘physis/physikos’ meaning ‘natural,’ thus the term ‘physician’ meant ‘naturalist’ void of chemicals and drugs. Later the French word ‘physic’ meant ‘treatment or remedy.’
Based on the origin of the word, the best description of a physician/doctor is a teacher of natural remedies which traditionally called N.D. or traditional naturopathic doctors.
Naturopathic practitioners utilize some of the following therapies/tools:
supplements & herbs & homeopathic
herbal/botanical medicine, or homeopathy
Other Therapeutic Methods
Below are the 6 basic principles that naturopathic physicians adhere to:
Rely on the healing power of nature: Naturopaths believe in the inherent self-healing process of the human body, so they work to uncover and remove obstacles to allow for recovery.
1. First do no harm: A naturopathic treatment plan uses therapies that are gentle, non-invasive, effective, and do not have adverse side effects. A conscious effort is made to use methods that do not suppress symptoms but allow symptoms as a form of healing. Medical intervention is left for preserving of life in acute emergency situations.
2. The healing power of nature: The body was created to have an inherent ability to maintain and restore health.
Action: Naturopathic physicians facilitate this healing process by removing obstacles to cure and identifying treatments to enhance healing.
3. Treat underlying causes: For naturopathy treatments to work, underlying causes of illnesses must be addressed, rather than simply treating a patient’s symptoms. A naturopathic treatment plan uses therapies that are gentle, non-invasive, effective, and do not have adverse side effects. A conscious effort is made to use methods that do not suppress symptoms.
Action: Naturopathic physicians treat the underlying causes of illness rather than just the symptoms of disease. Symptoms are an external manifestation of an internal imbalance due to any combination of physical, mental, or emotional causes. Symptom management may be important, but it is more important not to disregard the underlying cause of disease.
4. Doctor as Teacher: Focus on educating the patient and building a strong doctor-patient relationship.
Action: The Latin root of doctor is docere, which means "to teach." The primary role of naturopathic physicians is educating, empowering, and motivating patients to assume more personal responsibility for their health by adopting a healthy attitude, lifestyle, and diet. Thomas Edison once said, "The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest patients in the maintenance of the human frame, in diet, and in the prevention of disease. It is more effective to teach than treat patients."
5. Treat the whole person: Take into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and spiritual factors when forming a treatment plan.
Action: Naturopathic physicians identify specific weaknesses or dysfunctions in their patients and tailor treatment based upon the patient's individual presentation. It is the patient that is in need of treatment, not the disease state or symptom; interested in finding and treating characteristic symptoms that define the patient rather than common symptoms that define the disease. William Osler, MD, once said, "It is more important to know what sort of patient has a disease rather than what sort of disease a patient has."
6. Emphasize prevention: Assess risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease.
Action: It is far easier and cheaper to prevent a disease than to treat a disease. Naturopathic physicians evaluate both subjective and objective information necessary to uncover potential susceptibilities to future disease states in their patients. They can discuss specific lifestyle strategies or nutritional supplementation as a means for disease prevention.
1. Offers Patients Personalized, Holistic Care
Naturopaths are often considered “holistic doctors” because they take into account each patient’s unique medical history, lifestyle, risk factors, etc. It’s not unusual for an initial appointment with a naturopath to last for one hour or more, since building a strong relationship is seen as an important component of effective care.
You can expect your first visit to include discussion about your history, diet, stress levels, sleep, exercise, use of drugs/alcohol/tobacco. A physical Applied Kinesiology (AK) exam, and sometimes diagnostic tests, may also be performed.
The goal of naturopathic treatment is to address and heal the root causes of an illness, which is different than treating symptoms because it’s intended to be a long-term solution. This is why addressing multiple aspects of a patient’s life is so important since it allows the naturopath to set up a customized treatment plan.
2. Educates Patients So They Can Participate/Self-Treat
Rather than a physician completely taking control of a patient’s health plan, naturopaths focus on educating the patient so they can take their health into their own hands as much as possible and prevent future illnesses. This gives patients the opportunity to feel empowered and hopeful.
3. Often Decreases Need for Medications
Traditional naturopathic doctors DO NOT prescribe medications and in all cases you should consult with a medical doctor before starting any program or therapy (even massage therapy). Traditional Naturopathy attempts to successfully resolve conditions using natural health practices. This can include nutrition interventions, homeopathy, herbal medicine, Body work and needle-less acupuncture, just to name a few. Help with stress management and appropriate exercise are also commonly involved.
All of these natural therapies are considered “complementary medicines” that may or not be be used in substitution to traditional medications and treatments. When used as a long-term approach, a combination of different techniques and lifestyle changes can help to limit the need for medications including painkillers (such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or opioids), blood pressure or cholesterol medications, anxiety and depression medications, and so on.
4. Helps Prevent Symptoms From Returning
For medical patients, one of the most attractive things about natural medicine is its ability to help keep symptoms from coming back. This is because of the focus on treating underlying issues, for example chronic stressors, allergies, a poor diet, lack of sleep, etc.