What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Medicine combines the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using individualized treatment protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic doctors help facilitate the body's inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. Naturopathic medicine was founded on and is guided by six fundamental principles:

  • First, do no harm
  • The body has an inherent wisdom to heal
  • Identify and treat the cause
  • Doctor is teacher
  • Treat the whole person
  • Prevention is the cure

How does Naturopathic Medicine differ from conventional medicine?

Naturopathic doctors use a blend of both western medicine (laboratory testing, physical exams, can prescribe medications when necessary), and alternative therapeutics (homeopathy, botanical medicine, nutritional and lifestyle counseling). We place a strong emphasis on disease prevention and treating the underlying cause of disease, not just the presenting symptoms of illness. We believe in patient education and providing individualized treatment plans for each and every patient.

What type of training does a naturopathic doctor receive?

Naturopathic doctors undergo training similar to medical and osteopathic doctors. Naturopathic medical colleges are four-year postgraduate schools with rigorous admissions requirements comparable to allopathic medical schools. The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree is awarded after classroom, clinical and practical study. The cumulative number of hours spent in training is 4,700, which is comparable to the number of hours medical doctors spend in medical school. ND's are trained in medical sciences (including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, cardiology, neurology, radiology, minor surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, psychology, dermatology, and clinical and physical diagnosis), as well as, natural therapeutic methods of healing. Like many states and provinces, California's laws require extensive post-doctoral board examination for licensure. This policy is supported by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, which also maintains the highest standards of education and medical practice and encourages scientific research.

Is naturopathic medicine safe?

Absolutely. One of the fundamental tenets of Naturopathic medicine is "First Do No Harm." Our commitment is to help you feel better without causing harm or enduring uncomfortable side effects. Naturopathic doctors have extensive training in the safe use of botanicals, homeopathy, and supplements. Furthermore, we are trained in the interactions between natural medicines and pharmaceuticals. We recommend that people seek assistance from a qualified practitioner whenever using herbal or vitamin supplementation to ensure health and safety.

What can I expect during an initial naturopathic visit?

An initial Naturopathic office visit with Dr. Tenney will usually last about an hour to an hour and a half. During your first visit, Dr. Tenney will review your complete health history, your current health concerns, review your current medications and supplements, and discuss any medical records or lab work you bring with you. Pertinent physical examinations will be performed, and laboratory or imaging tests may be ordered. She will listen carefully to your health concerns and work with you to create a treatment plan that is ideal for you. The journey towards health and wellness takes time and the process may occur in phases. During the initial visits, we discuss a clear plan and visions of your health goals, as well as, how we, as a "team", will achieve them. We are committed to being in communication with you about your health needs and goals. You can expect to obtain a very specific and tailored treatment plan when you work with Dr. Tenney.