Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine is the practice of medicine that integrates the art and science of medicine with the body's ability to heal and repair itself given the right conditions.  Naturopathic medicine is successful in treating many conditions by addressing the fundamental cause of disease, dysfunction or syndrome; this happens by bringing the body into balance, provide conditions for healing, and sustaining conditions for the body to maintain vital and optimal health. 

 

Therapies that are within the scope of naturopathic medicine include but are not limited to: nutritional counseling, physical medicine, counseling, botanical medicine, homeopathy, IV therapies, injection therapies, and supplement therapy. Each patient is treated as a whole person which means the whole person will receive treatment, not just the symptom.  These therapies are often used to treat and prevent disease exclusively, as well as used in conjunction with other forms of medicine.

Dr. Debra is a Registered Naturopathic Doctor in the state of Colorado. In Colorado, naturopathic doctors have a relatively limited scope of practice. Unlike other states where our scope of practice covers more of what our primary care education prepared and trained us to do, Colorado has taken a very conservative approach, including registration status versus licensure. Therefore, I will not be able to prescribe or renew any pharmaceutical prescriptions for my patients.

Education:

Naturopathic Doctors attend a 4-year accredited, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and receive the same basic science training as medical doctors.  Naturopathic medical students receive approximately 3400 hundred hours of academic training and 1400 hours of clinical training before graduation.  Naturopathic doctors undergo 2 rigorous board examinations to receive licensure.  Many graduates go on to fulfill 1-,2-, or 3- year residencies or continue their education in specialty areas such as obstetrics, homeopathy, cancer, and gastroenterology.  I completed my training in naturopathic obstetrics and made the choice not to follow that path once I became a mother and moved to a state that did not legally recognize or protect naturopathic obstetrics.

Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine:

  • The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic doctors act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.

  • Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam): The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than merely eliminate or suppress symptoms. 

  • First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic doctors 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; and

    • Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process. 

  • Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic doctors educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship. 

  • Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic doctors 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. 

  • Prevention: Naturopathic doctors emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity, and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.