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Naturopathic Treatment Modalities

Naturopathic doctors have a wide variety of modalities to chose from to create their treatment protocols. Some states include pharmaceutical prescription authority to N.Ds. All of the treatment modalities listed below are assessed on our board exams (NPLEX, including pharmacology if licensed in your particular state. Here is a list of treatment modalities that are commonly used:


-botanical medicine

-physical medicine




-environmental medicine (including toxicology and deputation or detoxification)

-IV therapy

These are all BROAD categories! There are numerous other sub-modalities that can fall under each of these main categories. For example, in physical medicine we learn hydrotherapy/spa medicine, massage, trigger point release, muscle energy stretching, numerous types of electric and thermal therapies, even soft tissue and osseous manipulations! Many of these techniques are similar to what chiropractic or osteopathic doctors are trained in, and some are unique to naturopathic medicine. In my counselling courses, we focused on motivational interviewing and acceptance and commitment therapy, but that doesn’t mean that we have to stop there! Naturopathic doctors, like medical doctors, can choose to pursue outside certifications and continuing education, even extra board certifications in specialties within these different treatment techniques.

Students can take various extra coursework in a wide diversity of techniques such as IV therapies, biofeedback, craniosacral, or visceral manipulation. This leads to naturopaths practicing in a wide variety of ways! One doctor’s area of expertise may not be what you need in your healing journey, but do not let that discourage you! You may need to ask an ND to describe to you their treatment techniques and maybe even try a few until you find one that works best for you! Some NDs may focus on a specific body system or set of conditions (like gastrointestinal disorders), although all are trained as primary care physicians. Have questions or experience with any of these treatment modalities? Leave a comment! I would love to hear from you!

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