What is a “Doctor of Natural Medicine”?

Some of the following Questions and Answers are cited from the Board of Natural Medicine Doctors and Practitioners (BNMDP).

What is a “Doctor of Natural Medicine”?
Practitioners using the designation “DNM” have attained a doctorate (Ph. D) level of education in natural medicine, they are not Naturopaths “ND”. This training is recognized and accredited by the American Naturopathic Association, the American Naturopathic Medical Association, the World Organization of Natural Medicine Practitioners and the International Parliament for Safety and Peace.

In fact, DNM’s and RNP’s do not diagnose or treat disease, and have no desire to engage in diagnosing disease, the dispensing of drugs, or performing surgeries as set out in the legislation in question for modern “Naturopathic Doctors.” Diagnosing disease, dispensing drugs, or performing surgeries should be done only by licensed, trained and competent medical professionals.

What is a Naturotherapist?
Traditional Naturotherapists use a system of non-invasive health care and health assessments in which neither surgery or pharmaceuticals are used.
Focus is placed on education, counselling, natural medicine modalities and natural substances such as foods, food extracts, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, digestive aids, botanical substances, topical natural substances, homeopathic preparations, the elements, music, drumming, meditation, sound, light, vibrational frequencies, the physical modalities of natural non-manipulative bodywork and exercise to help stimulate and maintain the individual's intrinsic self-healing processes. 

Modern Naturopathic Medicine Vs Traditional Natural Medicine.
Natural Medicine is a generic term which refers to all practitioners who do not engage in diagnosis, disease prognosis, disease treatment, prescribing drugs and surgery.

The basic premise of natural medicine is that ill health is nothing more than imbalance or disequilibrium. The expression of symptoms is the body’s attempt to re-establish balance. Traditional Natural Medicine practitioners main emphasis is on guiding their clients to wellness. Naturopathic Medicine is one subset of the generic term “Natural Medicine”. Members of this organization are traditional Natural Medicine Practitioner within the definition of the general generic term Natural Medicine.

What is traditional natural medicine?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
“Traditional medicine is the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness”

Traditional Natural Medicine-North America
Traditional Natural (Nature’s) Medicine’s basic premise is that ill health is fundamentally a functional imbalance or disequilibrium within the body. A disease is a plethora of symptoms produced by the body’s attempt to re-establish homeostasis.

Traditional Natural (Nature’s) Medicine Practitioners are healthcare professionals who are educated and experienced in the use of safe, gentle non-invasive eclectic therapies geared towards enhancing the body’s innate healing ability which is responsible for re-establishing and maintaining optimum health.

The generic term "Natural Medicine" is not exclusive to any one group in particular as it is a general term which includes all holistic healing modalities, groups, and philosophy. It does not include surgical, drugs, diagnostic and treatment of a disease or uses allopathic medical framework.
There are many different groups of practitioners that use natural healing modalities in North America, but the follow list is clarity of members within designations in this organization.

  1. PhD (DNM) Doctorate in Natural medicine level of education
  2. CNP Certified Nature's-therapy practitioners
  3. RNP- Registered Natural Health practitioners

Traditional Natural Medicine/Nature’s practitioners, emphasize "teaching" healthy lifestyle choices, non-invasive assessment techniques, and guidance in self-care and disease prevention in accordance with traditional natural healing philosophy. Naturopaths are regulated in some Canadian provinces and the USA.
What is the Function of affiliate associations?
The function of the regional association in an advocacy capacity on behalf of members in a particular region.

Regions in Canada where regulation is required by the province, associations may be formed as a provincial extension of the Natural Medicine Certification Council (NMCC), which consists of active members of the organization.

External associations, societies, or other entities are not permitted to claim affiliation representation of members of this organization without legal authorization to do so.

Organizations claiming that they are affiliated must display an emblem of authorization bearing the organization’s logo.

What is the Scope of Practice of Traditional Natural Medicine Practitioners (Naturotherapists)?
The Scope of practice of Traditional Natural Medicine consists of the assessment of body systems and biochemical imbalances through traditional natural medicine techniques, and the use of traditional natural medicine therapies and techniques to promote, maintain or restore health.

These therapies include but not limited to:
Natural Medicine - Assessment

Non-invasive traditional functional assessment techniques, including basis vital signs which are standard in most healthcare and wellness settings:

1. Body temperature 

2. Heart Rate or Pulse rate

3. Respiratory rate

4. Blood pressure

5. Oxygen level

Physical/Anthropometric assessment (height, weight, circumference of waist, wrist, and hip), noting physical appearance, as well functional as techniques such as; tongue, eye, skin assessment, nutritional interpretation of standard lab findings. Nutritional and dietary analysis, metabolic analysis, and non-invasive allergy screening. 

NOTE: Traditional Natural Medicine/ Naturotherapy Practitioners are NOT allopathic Medical Doctors (MD) and must not engage in any allopathic medical practices unless licensed to do so.

Traditional Natural (Nature's) Medicine practitioners are clinically trained in the use of the following natural techniques:

Nutrition and diet:
Natural Medicine Practitioners understand that nutrition is the basis of health. Adopting a healthy diet is often the first step towards correcting health problems. Many health challenges can be reversed with foods and nutritional supplements than they can by other means, with fewer complications and side effects. Practitioners may use specific individual diets, fasting, and nutritional supplements to support their clients.

Herbal preparations: 
Plants have healing properties known since the age of man and were one of the first forms of medicine. Many pharmaceutical drugs have their origins in plant substances. Plant substances are used for their healing effects and nutritional values.

Homeopathic preparations: 
Homeopathic medicines are very small doses of natural substances that can stimulate the body’s self-healing response without side effects. Some conditions for which conventional medicine has no effective treatments will respond well to homeopathy.
Natural (Nature's)Medicine Practitioners are not specialists in homeopathic diagnosis but are allowed to dispense combination homeopathic remedies.

Manual techniques:
Natural (Nature's) Medicine practice includes methods of manual techniques of; soft tissues, joints, and bones, including, but not limited to instruction on exercises, aromatic (body) application, laser therapy, micro-current therapy, acupressure and other non-invasive manual techniques, hydrotherapy, electrotherapies, and ultrasound.

Health Coaching:
Natural (Nature's) Medicine Practitioners are trained in counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, hypnotherapy, and biofeedback techniques. They also attend to environmental and lifestyle factors that affect their client’s health.

Emergency Medicine:
Natural (Nature's) Medicine Practitioners must be trained in wilderness medicine and or basic first aid and CPR and hold a current certificate of registration to practice.