Professional Healthcare: Naturopathy

eJournal > Professional Healthcare: Naturopathy

by Kenton H Johnson, Executive Director, CompWellness Network and the American Naturopathic Medical Association

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Naturopathy (Natur-op’-athy) has its own proven, well-founded theories which explain the problems of disease. Its philosophy of health is wholly in conformity with Nature’s Laws of Life as expressed in the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Naturopathy administers no therapy that sets up an unnatural reaction in the human body. It differs from all other healing professions for it does not depend upon a single method of treatment to reach all diseases, but combines, in one well-ordered system of therapeutics, the best of all forms of natural healing. It also treats each case by the combination of methods best suited for the client.

See the eGuide Naturopathy chapter for additional information.

Naturopathic Doctors – NDs – use a wide range of non-invasive modalities, including:

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Biochemistry
  • Biologicals
  • Body Alignment
  • Botanical Medicine
  • Cell Salts
  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Colon Hydrotherapy
  • Counseling and Stress Management
  • Darkfield Blood Work
  • Energy Work
  • Herbology
  • Homeopathy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Iridology
  • Manual Manipulations
  • Meditation
  • Mineralogy
  • Natural Childbirth
  • Nutritional/Lifestyle Counseling
  • Oriental Medicine
  • Physical Medicine
  • Reflexology
  • Tissue Remedies
  • Vitaminology

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NDs are represented by a 3,000-member Holistic Healing Academy, the American Naturopathic Medical Association (ANMA), and a 400-member organization, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP). The ANMA also represents other practitioners who follow the ANMA Code of Ethics – see below.

ANMA uses the certification method to qualify their members. In most instances, Naturopathy requires no licensing as long as the individuals practice non-invasive natural health counseling. ANMA also encourages the current registration of Naturopaths in Washington, DC, as well as supports theAmerican Naturopathic Medical Certification and Accreditation Board (ANMCAB).

Code of Ethics

The ANMA Code of Ethics follows. Others we have found are similar. It states:

  • First do no harm
  • Practice the healing power of nature
  • Identify and treat the cause
  • Treat the whole person; the multi-factorial nature of health and disease
  • Practice prevention – the best “cure”
  • Not discriminate against clients or professionals based on race, religion, age, sex, handicaps, national ancestry, sexual orientation or economic conditions
  • Promise to abide by all state and local laws
  • Promise not to exceed scope of practice, either in abilities or by law
  • Strive to be objective in the treatments of clients and performance of duties, recognizing the rights of all persons, and [human] limitations
  • Distinguish clearly, in public between statements and actions as an individual and as a representative of Naturopathy
  • Encourage policy, procedures and personal practices which will enable others to conduct themselves in accordance with the values, goals and objectives of [the Naturopathic Code of Ethics]
  • Constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicat[ed to one's] chosen profession

Dr Robert Theil, ANMA’s recent Physician of the Year is a good example of a pioneering ND. He heads the Center For Natural Health Research and wrote “Nutritional Interventions for the Thyroid” in the ANMA Monitor.

Licensing and Registration

Naturopathic Physicians – those with four-year, medical-type training and clinical experience – are licensed to practice in only eleven states – probably because Naturopathic remedies and practices do not create the problems requiring tight scrutiny by local government. However, Washington DC provides registration to practice Naturopathy within the District of Columbia for two- and four-year graduates. Although the DC cannot – and does not – provide a registration for the other states and US territories, the practice has been that DC registrants practicing in those states and US territories without a licensing board are using the DC registration as one means of establishing credibility and due diligence.

The DC registration law is posted at DC’s service organization under DC Naturopathy Regulations. Registration is managed by the Washington DC Dept of Health Regulation Administration, Healthcare Licensing and Customer Service Division, Naturopathy Board, (202)442-4770, Bonnie Rampersaud, Professional Licensing Director. The American Naturopathic Medical Certification and Accreditation Board (ANMCAB) certifies most of the Naturopaths in the US and nearly all of the registrants in Washington DC.

Make sure that the Naturopathic Practitioner you use has a state license, or is registered in Washington DC and board certified by ANMCAB.

An interesting essay on the licensing issue appears on the ANMA website at Certification versus Licensing.

You’ll find some political rhetoric on both the ANMA and the AANP websites. We favor ignoring the fighting and looking at the information and benefits of using a personable, well-trained ND who will evaluate, diagnose and recommend remedies and therapies that follow Naturopathy’s principles and ethics.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is recognizing the importance of holistically-oriented MDs and the Naturopathy profession in furthering both CompWellness Network through action and research.

See the eGuide Naturopathy chapter and other chapters for the separate modalities, as well as American Naturopathic Medical Association (ANMA) website. The ANMA can be reached in Nevada at (702)897-7053 or by Email.

Find Naturopathy practitioners at CompWellness Members, and through the steps suggested at How to Find a Practitioner or Business.