By Dr. Jarom Ipson, NMD

Have you ever wondered what naturopathic medicine is? Similar to how it sounds, naturopathic medicine generally utilizes natural solutions, treatments and remedies to prevent illness and disease as well as maximizing the human body’s potential to heal itself. The official definition from is:  

  • Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process.  The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods. The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice: 
    • The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians 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 to merely eliminate or suppress 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; and 
      • Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.  
    • Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic physicians 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 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.  
    • Prevention: Naturopathic physicians 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. (

In contrast with allopathic or conventional medicine, naturopathic medicine focuses on the body’s natural response to heal itself. For example, when you get a small scrape or cut, your body automatically knows how to build a scab and regenerate the cells needed to fully heal the wound. This is the natural response. With naturopathic medicine, we seek natural ways to augment your body’s ability to prevent illness and heal itself when sickness or disease does come.  

Another comparison would be the concept of the mechanic vs. the gardener. A car or electronic device can be repaired by replacing damaged parts. But no matter how much you try to simplify the human body, it is infinitely more complex and alive than an inanimate machine. The complex systems intertwine and exist together as a full garden of life. The gardener is tasked with understanding the whole complex system and ensuring that the garden thrives, blooms and develops over multiple seasons.   

Sometimes people ask the question, “Are Naturopaths real doctors?” If the question you are asking is whether Naturopaths have attended medical school and are able to prescribe medications, then yes! Naturopathic Doctors (ND) are real doctors. Similar to Medical Doctors (MD) or Doctors of Osteopathy (DO), NDs attend four years of medical school and, depending on the requirements for the state in which they are licensed, they do a residency. Naturopathic Doctors learn similar pharmacology and basic skills of an MD or DO, but they also learn about herbs and supplements, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, and other curricula specific to natural medicine.  

The biggest advantage of seeing a Naturopath is that you will not be a number in the system. You will be given the time and quality of service that it takes to help you meet your health goals. 

What to Expect When You See a Naturopathic Physician Infographic

If you think seeing a Naturopathic Doctor is the right choice for you, please give us a call or book an appointment online. We’d love to help you meet your health goals and answer any questions you may have.  

Dr Jarom Ipson, NMD


Dr. J is a certified Naturopathic Doctor and author, who’s passionate about teaching others how their body works and putting them on a path to better health. Jarom is an expert in weight loss, pain relief, hormone balancing, natural aesthetics, digestive issues, and anti-aging.

Call (480) 636-1068 for an appointment with Dr. Ipson, NMD or schedule online at our Online Scheduler.

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