A Naturopathic Doctor (ND) is someone who has been trained and educated to become one. To become an ND, first one must have a Bachelors Degree, and meet the scientific prerequisites required to apply to an accredited Naturopathic College. Once accepted, one goes through a minimum of 4 years of rigorous academic studies, where they learn all about anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, etc. (like in Medical school), in addition to learning about alternative medicine (botanical medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, etc.). After all of this education, they must become licensed, and write the NPLEX (Naturopathic Physician Licensing Exam), which is a 2-part licensing exam.
That being said, NDs are well equip in supporting you achieve your health and wellness goals. Don’t expect a magic pill that is a quick fix. With the different therapies at the disposal of an ND, these improvements to your health tend to take some time, because most of what is being addressed is lifestyle. This means that it tends to take a while to obtain the results you want; however, the changes are long-term, this benefits you and your life. NDs see more than just your symptoms and diagnosis, they see you for who you are, because you’re the one that is going to be implementing the changes, and if you have habits that get in the way of your goal, that needs to be addressed.
So, when should you see an ND? You should see an ND when you want to become healthier and achieve wellness, and you are ready to take responsibility and take action in becoming healthier. NDs are excellent with working with people with all types of concerns, ranging from chronic illness to preconception care, and everything in between: digestive issues, hormonal issues, stress management, sleep issues, etc. It is amazing to have someone in your corner, wanting you to experience wellness for yourself, so that you can live your life fuller, and really LIVE your life.
People who have talked to their medical doctors and have been told that there is nothing that they can do for them, or people who want to get better, and their doctors haven’t been able to help them also tend to seek out NDs for another perspective. Especially since we look at everything (NDs are somewhat notorious for having extensive intake forms) and have the time to be with you to see how different issues may be tied together.
“Before you heal someone, ask him if he's willing to give up the things that make him sick.”