About Naturopathic Medicine

164721584Naturopathic medicine has many different connotations. Here is where we clear up any confusion.

How does a naturopathic doctor compare to  a conventional medical doctor?

Let’s start with the similarities: naturopathic doctors (NDs) are recognized and licensed as primary care medical physicians in the state of Montana. NDs, just like allopathic (aka conventional) doctors, are trained to be the doctor first seen for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of acute and chronic ailments.

NDs attend medical school and are required to learn allopathic medicine as well as naturopathic medicine. This allows NDs to know both sides of the aisle, and adjust treatment according to their patients’ needs and preferences.

As primary care physicians recognized by the state of Montana, NDs are allowed access to controlled substances and prescriptions such as antibiotics, vaccinations, hormones, fungicides, etc., as well as perform routine patient procedures such as wart, mole, and cyst removal and applying stitches.

So what are the differences?

The biggest differences are how naturopathic doctors and conventional doctors treat different health related issues. We recognize and support the body’s own innate ability to mend. Natural medicine is the way medicine was practiced before the advent of antibiotics, which caused a paradigm shift in medical thinking.

While a key to naturopathic medicine is bridging the gap between conventional medicine and alternative, holistic medicine, naturopathic doctors and naturopathic medicine exist on a very broad spectrum. We have similar methods of diagnosing symptoms as conventional medicine, but the way we treat symptoms and care for our patients ranges from more conventional to what is considered “alternative” or more esoteric.

How do I find a naturopathic health clinic or a naturopathic doctor that fits my needs?

Since there is so much variation in the field of naturopathic medicine, it’s important to find a alternative health care doctor whose treatment ethos are in line with your personal needs and wants. The best way is to do research on different naturopathic doctors in Bozeman and to find one that specializes in your unique symptoms as well as has a practice whose treatment procedure is one that resonates with you.

Interested in how Dr. Lemley practices natural medicine and where he falls on the spectrum? Click here to find out more about him and his practice.