Philosophy & Practice of Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) integrate the wisdom of nature with modern medical science to find the root cause of disease and to stimulate the body’s inherent healing processes. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are trained to discover the unique building blocks each individual needs to aid in this process using six naturopathic principles (listed below). Diet, lifestyle changes, exercise, botanical medicine, supplements, and other cutting-edge therapies are all tools ND’s employ. Naturopathic doctors may also use pharmaceutical drugs when necessary. NDs view the human body as a complex system and treat the whole person, not just a symptom or disease such as hypertension or breast cancer. NDs can perform minor surgery, and order laboratory tests and imaging studies to aid in their diagnosis.
Naturopathic Medicine Education & Training
Naturopathic doctors are trained as primary care physicians at four-year postgraduate naturopathic medical schools. NDs are required to gain extensive training through clinical internships in hospitals and medical offices before passing a state board exam to gain licensure.
- First Do No Harm
- Identify and Treat the Cause
- Treat the Whole Person
- Use the Healing Power of Nature
- Educate Patients
- Prevent Future Illness
Benefits of Naturopathic Medical Care
- Identify and change patterns, habits, foods, or tendencies that create obstacles to optimal health
- Learn about how your system works and what makes it run smoothly
- Improve overall well-being through whole body approach to medical care
- Feel great and prevent disease!
In Montana, naturopathic doctors (NDs) are licensed as primary care providers. This means that NDs can order labs, imaging, perform physical exams and can prescribe certain prescription medications.
Naturopathic doctors are able to perform the following exams:
- PAP and pelvic exams
- Annual physical exams
- Pediatric well-child checks
- Prostate exams
- Screening sports physicals
NDs are able to order, interpret and manage:
- DEXA scans (bone scans)
- Lab work (blood, urine analysis)
- Other imaging such as: ultrasounds, CT scans, x-rays, MRIs, etc.
If you are searching for a primary care provider, consider establishing care with a naturopathic doctor for a holistic approach to address all of your health care needs.
Functional medicine is a system of medicine that focuses on the optimal functioning of the body, not just on symptoms or a particular diagnosis. This system of medicine aims to determine how and why illness occurs, and to restore health by addressing the root cause of disease.
At Spring Integrative Health, our Naturopathic doctors are highly adept at employing the functional medicine approach to solve the puzzle of your health. The puzzle pieces that make up your health include vitamins and minerals, hormones, brain chemicals, inflammatory and stress molecules, gut microorganisms, antibodies, pH balance, and much more. Our doctors assess how these components work together, and then use treatments that nourish and balance your biochemistry to improve your overall health.
Each person is a unique blend of molecules, emotions, and thoughts, and functional medicine considers each of these aspects when working towards health. The ultimate goal is to restore health and halt or prevent disease processes.
Not only do our doctors work to bring balance to your biochemistry, but they seek to understand the root cause of the symptoms or illness. Our doctors assess the structural strength, nutritional deficiencies, toxic burden, genetic abnormalities, oxygenation, inflammation and more of each system of the body: neurological, endocrine/glandular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, digestive, urogenital and others. We do this in order to uncover the sources of imbalance. Exposing these imbalances, whether they be compensations or weaknesses, differs from the conventional medical/pharmaceutical approach which aims to suppress or alleviate symptoms. By correcting any imbalance, weakness or compensation in the body, we help systems return to normal, healthy function.
The tools we use in functional medicine are dietary counseling, nutrient replacement, lifestyle management, and mental and emotional support, just to name a few. Health is not found in a bottle, whether it is a supplement or a medication. Through functional medicine, we give your body the tools and building blocks it needs to heal. Your body does the work.
What are the outcomes of Functional Medicine?
- Identifying individual biochemical imbalances
- Bringing balance to biochemistry for whole-body healing
- Better energy, improved digestion, better sleep, overall improved sense of well-being
- Identifying specific vitamins and nutrients that your individual system needs to run smoothly