As a newcomer to Coachella Valley I was delighted to find Desert Health[sup]®[/sup]. I see it as an informative health guide and applaud its role in bridging the gap between diverse medical professions. Since my arrival, I have discovered that most desert dwellers know little about Naturopathic Doctors (ND’s). To remedy this, I have prepared a brief editorial overview of this essential medical profession.

Naturopathic medicine is one of the oldest continuously licensed health care professions in the country.[sup]1[/sup]  ND’s specialize in the use of natural techniques and medicines to support and stimulate the body’s self-healing process. Trained as general care practitioners, we blend modern and traditional natural therapies to address acute and chronic health concerns. Naturopathic doctors are guided by a set of ethical principles including do no harm, practice preventive medicine, and work with the whole person to address both the symptoms and the cause of disease.

Naturopathic doctors employ safe, natural and effective therapies including therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine, natural supplements and hormones, hydrotherapy, physical medicine, and lifestyle counseling. The roots of these therapies go back thousands of years and have been refined with present day science.

The medical style of ND’s offers patients several advantages, the foremost of which is time. Office visits are structured with adequate time to review a patient’s concerns and to provide the education necessary for preventive measures and lifestyle change.  Listening carefully to each patient to provide individualized treatment is a hallmark of ND’s.

The demand for natural health care is rapidly growing as people embrace a more proactive role regarding their health. These individuals realize that lifestyle factors significantly impact the well being they enjoy.

Naturopathic Facts of Interest:

  • Approximately one third of the states have licensure for naturopathic doctors[sup]2[/sup]
  • There are about 4,000 naturopathic doctors and 1 million MD’s in the US[sup]3[/sup]
  • California passed licensure for ND’s in 2003, and now has nearly 500 licensed ND’s[sup]4[/sup]
  • There are 4 accredited naturopathic medical programs in the US
  • ND’s receive a medical education on par with conventional medical programs as taught at Johns Hopkins, Yale, and Stanford.[sup]5[/sup]

Dr. Jon Dunn is licensed Naturopathic Doctor with over 20 years of experience. He is the author of the book The Family Guide to Naturopathic Medicine and has a private practice in Palm Desert. Contact: [email protected] 760-341-6502

References: (1) Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine; (2) American Association of Naturopathic Physicians; (3) April 12, 2010 Wall Street Journal, Sataline and Wang; (4) California Naturopathic Doctors Association; (5) Curriculum Directory of the Association of American Medical Colleges, National College of Naturopathic Medicine and Bastyr University 1988

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