What is a Naturopathic Physician?

What is a Naturopath?


You may have heard that SW Family Physicians has welcomed two new Naturopathic Physicians, Dr. Khaleed Alston, ND and Dr. Alicia Hart, ND, to our practice. Naturopathic physicians are primary health care providers who are experts in the intersection of conventional practice and natural therapies. 


Naturopathy is a distinct type of primary care medicine that blends age-old healing traditions with scientific advances and current research. It is guided by a unique set of principles that recognize the body's innate healing capacity, emphasize disease prevention, and encourage individual responsibility to obtain optimal health. 


The naturopathic physician (ND) strives to thoroughly understand each patient's condition, and views symptoms as the body's means of communicating an underlying imbalance. Treatments address the patient's underlying condition, rather than individual presenting symptoms. 


NDs are trained in four-year, accredited doctoral-level naturopathic medical schools. There are currently seven naturopathic medical schools in the US and Canada that are either accredited or are in candidate status for accreditation including the National College of Natural Medicine here in Portland, OR.


Naturopaths utilize a number therapeutic interventions including diet and clinical nutrition, behavioral change, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, botanical medicine, physical medicine, pharmaceuticals, and minor surgery. In additions naturopaths in Oregon are able to utilize more traditional therapies including prescribing medications, ordering diagnostic imaging, labs, administering vaccinations and referrals to specialist providers. 


Want to learn more and improve your health? Reach out to schedule with one of wonderful providers! 

Adapted from Naturopathy and the Primary Care Practice

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