Updated: November 5th, 2020

Emphasizing prevention and wellness, and engaging the wisdom of nature to promote the body’s inherent healing ability, naturopathic doctors diagnose and treat disease and use traditional therapies combined with modern medical practices to help restore, maintain, and improve health. Naturopathic medicine can be used as a primary care approach, as a complement to conventional medicine and other forms of healthcare, for disease prevention, or for health and wellness support. Naturopathic doctors are experts in natural medicine, utilizing many modalities such as clinical nutrition, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, and botanical medicine, along with sensible concepts such as a healthy diet and lifestyle, regular exercise, and relaxation and stress management techniques.

Naturopathic medicine is grounded in a philosophy that considers the entire person – body, mind, and spirit – and supports the intrinsic healing abilities that nature provides. Naturopathic doctors recognize that the body is an ever-changing system where organs do not perform in isolation, but are part of an intricate, interrelated system that must be addressed as a whole. Through this whole-person lens, naturopathic doctors evaluate the overall health and wellness of an individual and their short- and long-term outlooks. Seeking to identify and remove the root cause of an illness or state of disharmony in the body while facilitating the conditions that promote health improvement is a cornerstone of naturopathic medicine.

Good health is more than the absence of disease, and disease prevention is more than a screening exam. Naturopathic doctors are trained to assess a multitude of social, environmental, and other factors that influence vitality, health, and well-being. The behaviors and habits that shape our routines, the relationships we cultivate, the environment that surrounds us, and the lifestyle we embrace are all elements that can serve as powerful catalysts for positive change.

Naturopathic doctors are naturally oriented toward patient-centered care and provide ample time to get to know you and your concerns. In addition to a physical exam, visits with a naturopathic doctor often include a thorough life and medical history, environmental assessment, diagnostic testing, and the development of a treatment plan. Because naturopathic doctors take seriously the role that emotions and mindset play in the state of health, patients often feel heard and validated in their visits. This contributes positively to their overall health and, in many cases, the office visit itself can feel like a treatment.

Naturopathic doctors complete a four-year, accredited doctoral program and study the same biomedical sciences that medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy master, generally in the first two years of the program. The final two years emphasize clinical training under the supervision of a licensed naturopathic doctor. In addition, the naturopathic physician is required to complete extensive training in clinical nutrition, physical medicine, counseling, botanical medicine, homeopathy, and pharmacology. Naturopathic doctors also study minor surgery, intravenous therapy, and in some states are licensed as primary care providers.

Autumn Frandsen, N.D., is a certified naturopathic physician with  extensive experience in treating autoimmune conditions, thyroid conditions, chronic Lyme disease, mood disorders, obesity, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, and dermatological conditions.