What is the Difference Between a Naturopathic Physician and a Naturopath

A licensed naturopathic physician (N.D.) attends a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school after completing a minimum of 3 years undergraduate pre-medical studies. A naturopathic physician is educated in all of the same basic sciences as a M.D. but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, oriental medicine, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling. A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams prior to being licensed in a jurisdiction that regulates the practice of naturopathic medicine. A licensed N.D. belongs to a regulatory body that oversees standards of practice, complaints and discipline. Naturopathic physicians must carry malpractice insurance, maintain continuing education and practice ethically and professionally.

A naturopath is a term that has been used by the general public and other medical professions to sometimes inaccurately refer to what more accurately is a naturopathic physician. Considered a somewhat non-specific, derogatory expression by licensed naturopathic physicians, the term naturopath nevertheless, has been around for over 100 years. In reality, the words naturopathic physician and naturopath have often been used interchangeably.

In modern times, the term naturopath has been more accurately applied to non-medically trained natural health providers from correspondence/long distance education programs, short term naturopathy schools, and grandfathered in practitioners of varied backgrounds. Typically, naturopaths practice in unlicensed, unregulated jurisdictions and do not have the same training or privileges as that of a naturopathic physician.

There has been a long history of legal and philosophical disagreements between naturopathic physicians and naturopaths that has only undermined the political and medical progress of naturopathic medicine. Unfortunately, the public has generally not been aware of the differences between the two groups, even though large differences exist.

In Canada, only naturopathic physicians are licensed, regulated and able to practice legally in the provinces that acknowledge naturopathic medicine.

 

Copyright © 2003 by Dr. Garrett G. Swetlikoff

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    Are Cellphones Dangerous?

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    We are all surrounded by electromagnetic fields (EMFs).  The sun and earth produce their own natural forces which we cannot escape.  But modern lifestyles and technologies have now chronically exposed humans to fields much different.  For example, AC electric fields from house wiring and corded appliances, power lines and radio frequencies are part of everyday living.  Cellphones, cordless phones, Wi-Fi routers, baby monitors, smart meters and Bluetooth devices are everywhere.  The real fact is that these EMFs are unavoidable and exposure now starts during pregnancy and infancy, right until death.  We are living in an environment of electro smog….

    There is huge controversy over what health risks EMFs may or may not produce.  Most international health organizations, scientific bodies and pro-technology groups state that EMFs, at current levels and forms, do not significantly harm humans or animals.  Specific correlations with diseases like cancer, immune dysfunction or cognitive decline have not been shown statistically to be relevant.  So the general viewpoint is that all this exposure is safe.  These conclusions are readily available on the internet, if one wants to read the data presented.

    However, there are many other researchers, physicians and anti-EMF groups that disagree with these conclusions.  They point out that most studies have not been done for long enough periods of time and that the layering of multiple different types of EMF exposure simultaneously, have not been taken into account.  The frequency, power density, strength and duration of exposure are felt to alter the health risks and need to be factored in with more relevance.  Also, the sensitivity to EMFs may be varied form person to person, based on their own individual constitution and age.  Kind of like the old saying, “One man’s food is another man’s poison”.

    Some research has shown that EMFs alter voltage gated calcium channels in the outer membrane of cells, resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative free radical stress and possibly DNA damage.  The result being that some people report a variety of health issues from both long and short EMF exposure.  Ringing in the ears, dizziness, heart palpitations, headaches, insomnia, foggy thinking, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, pain syndromes and hormone imbalances are some examples.  More serious conditions like brain cancers, neurological defects, auto-immune disease and dementia are also being discussed by the anti-EMF groups.  The jury is out on all of this, but certainly, the sides are very polarized.

    So what does one do?????  Well…. the cat is out of the bag.  EMF technologies are not going away.  You cannot hide anywhere from EMF exposure.  Whether you believe that EMFs are safe or harmful, here are a few basic tips…..Try replacing wireless devices with wired versions.  Reduce cellphone use and don’t wear it in your bra or pocket.  Use the speaker in the phone and keep it in Airplane mode most of the time.  Reduce laptop use and use wired equipment.  Get as much electrical junk out of the bedroom and far away from your bed.  Try not live near cellphone towers.  Shut Wi-Fi routers off at night.  It is not clear if the advertised shielding devices out there actually work.  Have lots of houseplants, eat a diet rich in anti-oxidants, get outside in nature and get grounded, sweat, stay well water hydrated, and smart phones are not toys for the kids.  There are many other tips available if one researches them.  May the force be with you……

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