Naturopathic physicians are primary care physicians licensed to practice medicine. Their degree credentials are ND or NMD, which stands for Naturopathic Doctor or Naturopathic Medical Doctor. They have prescription rights, meaning they can prescribe both pharmaceutical and herbal/natural medicines. Dr. Maturo embraces integrative medicine, utilizing the best that all of medicine has to offer when it comes to treating patients.
What is the Role of a Naturpathic Physician?
Naturopathic physicians are trained in a diverse range of medical techniques, including modern and traditional, scientific and empirical methods. They practice Naturopathic medicine, a distinct system of primary health care, emphasizing the prevention and treatment of acute and chronic illness and disease through therapeutic methods and substances which support the body’s inherent self-healing process–the vis medicatrix naturae.
Naturopathic medicine is further distinguished by the unique principles which underlie and determine its practice. These principles are based upon an objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in light of scientific advances. The methods used are consistent with these principles and are implemented in consideration of patients’ specific needs.
Naturopathic Techniques & Principles
The techniques of naturopathic medicine include modern and traditional, scientific and empirical methods. Dr. Maturo believes in emphasizing what is termed integrative medicine, taking the best of both conventional and naturopathic medicines and utilizing both to promote optimal health.
The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice:
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body’s inherent self-healing process as orderly and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to natural healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
Identify and Treat the Causes (ToIle Causam): The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than merely eliminating or suppressing symptoms.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
• Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
• Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms;
• Acknowledge, respect, and work with the individual’s self-healing process.
Naturopathic Methods & Practices
Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage them to be responsible for their health. They also recognize and engage the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development, as well.
Prevention: Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease–assessing risk factors, heredity, and susceptibility to disease, and making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.
Naturopathic medicine is defined by its principles. Methods and modalities are selected and applied based upon these principles in relationship to the individual needs of each patient. Diagnostic and therapeutic methods are selected from various sources and systems, and will continue to evolve with the progress of scientific knowledge.
Naturopathic practice includes the following diagnostic and therapeutic modalities: nutritional medicine, botanical medicine, naturopathic physical medicine including naturopathic manipulative therapy, public health measures and hygiene, counseling, minor surgery, homeopathy, acupuncture, prescription medication, hormone balancing, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, intravenous and injection therapy, naturopathic obstetrics (natural childbirth), and appropriate methods of laboratory and clinical diagnosis.