What it means to work with a Naturopathic Doctor

How is a traditional naturopathic doctor (ND) different than your licensed medical doctor (MD)? Their basic philosophy and training are greatly different as I’ve contrasted below.

Your medical doctor (MD)…
Your naturopathic doctor (ND)…
…is trained that genetics and pathogens are at the root of disease, consequently… …is trained that poor nutrition, toxins or negative emotions cause imbalances at the root of disease, and that the resultant weak, devitalized human tissue becomes pathogen food, consequently…
…believes that killing the pathogen or interfering with chemical pathways within the body is the answer to disease in mankind, therefore… …believes that improving tissue integrity and energy through nutrition and/or homeopathy and/or counseling addresses the root cause of the disease which involves the terrain, therefore…
…relies on the effectiveness of antibiotics in the case of suspected pathogens or pharmaceuticals which inhibit normal body function by altering cell communication thus ‘fixing’ faulty function/genetics. (These pharmaceuticals are appropriately named ‘inhibitors’ or ‘blockers’.) …relies on the body’s innate, Divine programming to preserve its own life. They attempt to find what is inhibiting the body from resolving its own problems. They enhance normal body function by providing herbs and other natural substances and therapies or devices to balance the body’s terrain.
…depends on drugs made by man in a laboratory that have had a testing period of 3 to 6 months and whose adverse effects are described in exceedingly fine print few can understand. …depends on herbs made by nature that have had a testing period of thousands of years in many cultures whose beneficial effects are written in the common herbals of Egypt, China, Greece, Rome, Europe, England and the US.
…focuses on the pathology of disease and attacking something, like cancer cells, or infections, or cellular communication. …focuses on the promotion of life and ‘making whole’. Attacking things doesn’t make them whole. It substitutes one kind of pathology for another.
…uses expensive, high technology and sometimes toxic tests to determine the presence of pathology (may require injection of dyes or radioactive substances, or X-rays or invasive biopsies). … uses inexpensive, traditional methods such as the eye, tongue, pulse, muscle response testing, or other non-toxic, non invasive measures to determine the status of your health or wholeness.
…assesses symptoms and test results in order to name a disease for which standard medical practice has designated a specialized and approved drug treatment to suppress the set of symptoms or make the test results ‘normal’(?). …assesses health indicators (above) to identify imbalances and uses nutritional intervention to address the terrain or root cause and restore balance thus prevent the natural development of the symptoms.
…uses inflammation/pain as an indicator for the need for anti-inflammatory drugs (OTC, steroids or non-steroidal). …uses inflammation/pain as an indicator or clue as to the nature of the possible root causes of the imbalance.
…uses surgery (or radiation) to remove (or kill) organs/glands which are deemed problematic. …uses nutritional support to nourish an organ/gland back to proper function.
…is licensed by the state and is held responsible by the state for your disease treatment. …is generally NOT licensed by the state and believes YOU are to be held responsible for your own health. (After all, YOU have to live in that body of yours. Who should be more motivated than you to make sure it works well?)
…does not normally provide information on nutritional intervention or how to stay healthy. …routinely gives information (handouts or verbal) on how you can assist your body in its return to health.
…is covered by insurance. …is NOT covered by insurance.

© 2001 Pat Block, ND

Revised 2011



2 Responses to Naturopathy

  1. Lydia Disney says:

    Dear Pat,

    I’m a former client/patient. Can Silver Shield Gel be taken internally, as in applied to my tongue and roof of my mouth for dry mouth?


    • PatBlockND says:

      Yes Lydia, you can apply it to the inside of your mouth, but I’m not sure if it will help with dry mouth. It is most useful for inflammation. Check your meds to see if this is a side effect.

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