How Naturopathic Medicine Can Help You

Naturopathic Medicine for the Whole Family

Naturopathic medicine emphasizes preventing disease, encouraging the body’s inherent healing ability, treating the whole person and educating patients to be partners in their own health care. While firmly science-based, modern naturopathic medicine also preserves the century-old wisdom of successful natural therapies.

Through Bastyr Center’s Team Care approach, you will see one licensed naturopathic practitioner and one to three advanced student clinicians. Your naturopathic team takes the time to listen to and get to know you as a whole person, working with you to discover your own unique route to wellness.

Health Conditions Treatable by Naturopathic Medicine

Offering preventive and natural health for your whole family, from pediatrics to geriatrics, naturopathic treatments can treat many health conditions, including:

  • Cold and flu
  • Injuries
  • Sleep disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Digestive disorders
  • Integrative cancer care

If you are unsure of how to choose the best treatment for your condition, you can begin by making an appointment with a naturopathic care team. Initial appointments are comprehensive and last 90 minutes. Follow-up appointments generally last up to an hour.

Wellness exams also are offered in naturopathic Team Care, and include a comprehensive assessment of body systems, screening physical exam and personalized additional screenings tailored to your health goals, risks and needs.

What to Expect at a Naturopathic Medicine Visit

The first appointment with a naturopathic doctor (ND) usually lasts 90 minutes. The appointment includes a thorough written questionnaire regarding your health history, your health concerns and your lifestyle. The physician will then conduct an in-depth verbal interview about your health and any areas of concern. Follow-up appointments last about an hour.

In addressing your illness or efforts to optimize wellness, your naturopathic care team might prescribe:

  • Vitamin/mineral supplements
  • Herbal remedies
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Physical medicine
  • Hydrotherapy treatments
  • Diet and nutrition changes
  • Exercise and other lifestyle changes
  • Craniosacral therapy

You also may see a licensed naturopathic doctor one-on-one at Bastyr Center in Private Practice, where you can make an appointment with a naturopathic physician resident for the same price as a Team Care appointment.

Scope of Practice for Naturopathic Doctors

Naturopathic doctors are licensed as primary health care providers in the state of Washington. They have four to five years of medical training, including a two-year clinical internship. Educated in all of the same basic sciences as a medical doctor (MD), a naturopathic physician uses the Western medical sciences as a foundation for diagnosis and treatment. Just like MDs, naturopathic physicians must pass rigorous professional board exams before they can be licensed by a state or jurisdiction.

NDs, however, also study holistic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and promoting wellness. Another distinguishing feature is the treatment philosophy: Naturopathic doctors see the physician as someone who facilitates healing by identifying and removing barriers to health.

Naturopathic physicians can prescribe a number of pharmaceutical drugs (such as antibiotics), but in Washington they currently cannot legally prescribe all pharmaceutical drugs that a medical doctor can prescribe. Naturopathic physicians can perform minor office procedures but will refer patients to outside physicians for more extensive procedures. You should ask your naturopathic physician about the specific drugs or procedures you are considering.