At Village Medicine, we partner with you to create an individual health-care plan to empower you to become an active participant in your own health and healing.
WHAT IS INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE?
Integrative medicine aims to coordinate your care with a cultivated and worldly collection of physicians, specialists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, physical and sports medicine practitioners, shamans, nutritionists, astrologers, researchers, meditation teachers, therapists and more.
We treat the whole person, offering diagnoses, treatment and prevention in these areas:
FAQs - Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine is a branch of healthcare which includes both traditional healing methods and modern holistic methods which are based on sound scientific and empirical knowledge. It emphasizes the use of therapeutic and preventive techniques as a treatment program to promote self-healing and overall well-being.
- Be Your primary care (hyperlink to primary care provider)
- Physical exams
- Order labs, MRIs, and X-rays
- Fill prescriptions
- Diagnose and treat illness and injury
- Each provider has specific areas that they specialize in, for more information see the provider bio pages.
Naturopathic physicians (NDs) are licensed as primary care physicians (or GPs) in the State of Washington. Not all choose to practice as primary care doctors. There is a wide variety in the way NDs practice, similar to the specialties in medical doctors. NDs are often seen as having a “bag of tricks” and trained in a variety of modalities as well as the standard pharmaceuticals and surgical/procedures as those of MDs. These “tricks” include the intensive study and often the practice of nutrition, herbal medicine, physical medicine, and homeopathy.
Homeopathy is a specific tool based on the law of similars, the principle of the single remedy and the principle of minimum dose. So a primary care Naturopathic physician might prescribe a homeopathic remedy and there are also Naturopaths that specialize in homeopathy.
A licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school after completing undergraduate pre-medical studies. A naturopathic physician is educated in all of the same basic sciences as a traditional allopathic medical doctor but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, pharmacology, oriental medicine and acupuncture, physical medicine, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling. A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams prior to being licensed in a jurisdiction that regulates the practice of naturopathic medicine. A licensed ND belongs to a regulatory body that oversees standards of practice, complaints and discipline. Naturopathic physicians can have NPI’s (National Provider Identifications, DEA numbers- enabling authorizations of higher level prescriptions), hospital privileges and accept health insurance. Naturopathic physicians must carry malpractice insurance, maintain continuing education and practice ethically with a high degree of professionalism.
A naturopath is an inaccurate term that refers to a naturopathic physician. The term naturopath nevertheless has been around for over 100 years. In reality, the words naturopathic physician and naturopath have often been used interchangeably.
In modern times, the term naturopath is applied to non-medically trained natural health providers from correspondence/long distance education programs (like Clayton College). These naturopaths graduate from unaccredited schools with an unaccredited Ph.D. in as little as 6 months. Typically, naturopaths practice in unlicensed, unregulated jurisdictions and do not have the same training or privileges as that of a naturopathic physician.
There has been a long history of legal and philosophical disagreements between naturopathic physicians and naturopaths. Unfortunately, the public has generally not been aware of the differences between the two groups, even though large differences exist.
In Canada, only naturopathic physicians are licensed, regulated and able to practice legally in the provinces that acknowledge naturopathic medicine. In the United States, it is up to individual states to grant licensure to naturopathic physicians. Maryland and Virginia currently do not license naturopathic physicians and thus the public is not as protected as it could be from misrepresentation. The District of Columbia has a registration process for naturopathic physicians and is in the midst of organizing a governing board.
When searching for a qualified expert in natural medicine, be sure to ask for credentials and a current license to practice. To learn more you can examine the AANMC’s professional competency profile and provided below is a list of AANMC’s accredited naturopathic medical schools.
AANMC Member Schools
- Bastyr University
- Bastyr University – California Campus
- National College of Natural Medicine
- National University of Health Sciences
- Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
- University of Bridgeport – College of Naturopathic Medicine
- Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
- Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
Yes, Naturopathic Physicians can order labs through all standard labs like Labcorp/Dynacare, Paclab, Quest and can call imaging studies such as CT’s, MRI’s Xray and ultrasounds in hospitals and imaging centers. It is also very common for ND’s to use “alternative” labs not standardly used in major hospital systems.
Yes, part of Naturopathic Medicine involves using pharmaceutical medicine when appropriate. Naturopathic and Integrative providers are well versed in safeguarding all medications for interactions with nutraceuticals, herbs and various modalities.
Yes, we are more than happy to collaborate with all of your care providers because we, at Village Medicine, believe “it takes a village”.