Three U.S. states added naturopathic medicine as a regulated healthcare practice in the past year: Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Legislation to regulate naturopathic medicine is pending in North Carolina. Today, there are approximately 6,000 licensed naturopathic doctors in the United States throughout 23 regulated states and territories.
The milestone growth is being recognized during National Naturopathic Medicine Week, created by the U.S. Senate through its resolution urging Americans to learn more about "the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care."
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct practice of medicine that emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process to treat each person holistically.
Naturopathic doctors diagnose, prevent and treat acute and chronic illness, improving outcomes while lowering health care costs.
Rather than just suppressing symptoms, naturopathic doctors work to establish and restore optimal health. They do this by identifying underlying causes of illness, and developing personalized treatment plans to address them, engaging patients as active participants in their care.
Naturopathic doctors are educated and trained in accredited naturopathic medical colleges. There are now eight naturopathic medical schools recognized by the federal Department of Education.
Accredited naturopathic medical schools are four-year, in-residence, hands-on post-graduate medical programs where students are educated in the biomedical sciences as well as the latest advances in science in combination with natural approaches to therapy.
"Americans spend more money on healthcare than any other developed country, yet we have worse health outcomes," said Michelle Simon, PhD, ND and Chair of the Institute for Natural Medicine (INM) Board of Directors.
"More Americans die from preventable diseases or complications than citizens in many other countries. As healthcare in the United States evolves with a greater focus on wellness and prevention, naturopathic medicine is playing a central role in reversing current healthcare trends to deliver better health outcomes at lower costs."
The Institute for Natural Medicine (INM) is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides public education about naturopathic medicine and increases consumer access to naturopathic doctors. As a close partner to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the INM strives to increase consumer and physician choice in safe, effective healthcare that improves patient outcomes and lowers costs. For more information visit www.naturemed.org or call 855-799-4490.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is the professional association that represents licensed naturopathic physicians. The AANP strives to make naturopathic medicine available to every American, and to increase recognition of naturopathic physicians as the identified authorities on natural medicine. Learn more at www.naturopathic.org