Naturopathic medicine, or naturopathy, is founded in the belief that all human bodies have the innate ability to heal through a proper lifestyle including diet and exercise as well as low-risk procedures and compounds such as homeopathic remedies and herbal supplements. The popularity of naturopathic doctors in the United States grew during the 1970s, although the practice originated in Europe in the 1800s.
Naturopathy schools and colleges offer four-year programs that lead to a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND). Coursework may include studies in:
According to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, naturopathy schools combine theoretical classroom training with laboratory practice in a clinical setting. Many NDs enroll in continuing education courses to build their naturopathy careers. Naturopathy schools certified by the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) may also offer residency programs for preparation for practice.
Each state has its own requirements for licensing naturopathic doctors and for regulating the practice of naturopathy. Some states do not permit the practice of naturopathic medicine at all. Students should review state laws where they intend to practice.
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