The therapeutic modalities used by NDs are described below. Note that the state of Utah requires a one-year residency before licensing NDs. Like other doctors, recently graduated NDs seek additional clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed doctor, in the form of residencies and mentorships.
Many plant substances are powerful medicines. Where isolated chemically derived drugs may address only a single problem, botanical medicines are able to address a variety of problems simultaneously. When properly utilized, most botanical medicines can be applied effectively with minimal likelihood of side effects.
Food is the best medicine and is a cornerstone of naturopathic practice. Many medical conditions can be treated more effectively with foods and nutritional supplements than they can by other means, with fewer complications and side effects. NDs use diet, natural hygiene, fasting, and nutritional supplementation in their practices.
Homeopathic medicine is based on the principle of "like cures like." Clinical observation indicates that it works on a subtle, yet powerful, energetic level, gently acting to promote healing on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels.
Mental attitudes and emotional states may influence, or even cause, physical illness. Counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, and other therapies are used to help patients heal psychologically.
Naturopathic doctos do in-office minor surgery, including repair of superficial wounds and removal of foreign bodies, cysts, and superficial lesions.
Within the ND program, Oriental medicine is a healing philosophy that is complementary to naturopathic medicine. Oriental medical theory offers an important understanding of the unity of the body and mind and adds to the Western understanding of physiology.
Naturopathic medicine has its own methods of therapeutic manipulation of soft tissue, muscles, bones, and spine. NDs also use ultrasound, diathermy, exercise, massage, craniosacral therapy, muscle energy technique, hydrotherapy, heat and cold, and gentle electrical therapies.
Naturopathic practice also includes the use of any medical substances that contain elements that are components of bodily tissues or can be utilized by the body for the maintenance of life and the repair of tissues. All methods of diagnostic testing and imaging are used, including x-ray and ultrasound. The current scope of practice excludes major surgery and the use of many synthetic drugs.