History of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathy has been around since ancient times. Hippocrates, a physician who lived about 2400 years ago, formulated one of the main principles of naturopathic medicine, vis medicatrix naturae - the healing power of nature.

For thousands of years, healers have been utilizing herbs, food, water, touch, and fasting to spur the innate ability of the body to heal itself. Naturopathy was still popular in the United States well into the early part of the 20th century. However, the discovery of antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals and the popularity of more institutionalized large scale “scientific medicine” contributed to the decline of naturopathic medicine by mid-century and the emergence of today’s mainstream medicine, termed allopathic medicine.

Critics of this more conventional medical model soon began to see prominent downsides. Sky rocketing costs, clinical limitations, and side effects of drugs all contributed to Americans once again beginning to turn to more “alternative and complimentary” options in the later part of the 20th century. Today, licensed naturopathic physicians serve as primary care physicians in states that have licensing laws for naturopathic medicine.

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is based on a holistic approach combining safe and effective traditional therapies along with modern scientific approaches in medicine. One of the key differences between traditional (allopathic) medicine and naturopathic medicine is that naturopathy focuses on the individual rather than treating based on the generality of symptoms.

Naturopathic physicians try to discover the underlying cause of pathology and then use natural therapies to promote the body’s natural healing process. Naturopaths may utilize a variety of modalities including clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical manipulation, acupuncture and Chinese herbs, counseling, and hydrotherapy among others. These approaches have proven successful in safely treating a variety of both acute and chronic conditions.

Naturopathic medicine is based on six philosophical principles:

  1. First Do No Harm – primum non nocere: Safe and effective therapies are utilized to promote health.
  2. The Healing Power of Nature - vis medicatrix naturae: The body has an inherent ability to restore health through nature’s healing properties.
  3. Discover and Treat the Cause, Not Just the Effect - tolle causam: Naturopathic physicians seek to discover and address the underlying cause of a disease.
  4. Treat the Whole Person - tolle totum: A holistic approach is utilized by considering multiple factors of health and disease, and then formulating a treatment plan specific to the individual’s needs.
  5. The Physician is a Teacher – docere: The naturopathic doctor’s role is to educate and empower patients to take responsibility for their own health.
  6. Prevention –praevenire: is the best "cure": Assessing risk factors and then appropriately modifying lifestyle along with education is one of the best methods to reduce susceptibility to disease.

Testimonial from Kim Newman 1-10-11

Dr. Dickens, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all the work you have done for my daughter.  She has had the same glasses prescription for the past 2 years and that has been verified with 2 different eye specialists in AZ who agreed on her prescription.  I took her to a new eye doctor because we moved and he was blown away by how off her prescription was.  Her right eye was double what it should be and the other 1/4 what it should be.  He was impressed that it has gone down and not up which he said that rarely happens.  I truly believe that the vitamin C and other supplements and suggestions you have recommended have improved her eye site. 

Another amazing thing has happened since working with you,  her colitis, gerd (reflux), and esosenaphilia (spl?) are all GONE with the new treatment so I KNOW what you have had us do for her has helped.  The GI doctor was truly amazed at the cure and was shocked it was not because of medication and just said "I don't know what you are doing but keep doing it!".  I had stopped all her stomach medication 4 weeks after starting her on your protocol because her symptoms were gone and they have not come back! 

One last thing, she is FINALLY sleeping through the night after not doing so in her 5 years of life.  She used to wake me up anywhere between 2 and 8 times a night and now she actually sleeps in!  It just wonderful and I am truly grateful to you!!  I know our continued work with you will eventually rid her of her last problem of arthritis because it is responding now that all her other problems are gone.  Thank you so much for your kindness and caring knowledge! 


What is a Naturopathic Physicians’s training?

Licensed naturopathic physicians (NMD’s) have attended a rigorous four-year graduate level medical program at an accredited institution. During the first two years of the program they are trained in the same basic science and clinical applications that traditional MD students are educated in and have more than 4,000 hours of classroom training.

After passing national science boards, they progress through the second two years of the program where they intern under other doctors in a clinical setting as well as receiving extensive training in natural modalities. NMD’s have over 1,000 hours of supervised clinical interaction with patients.  In order to obtain a professional license, students must pass challenging national clinical examinations (NPLEX) after completing the program of study. 

Students from online programs or mail-order organizations are not eligible to sit for these tests. Physicians are responsible for people’s health and as such must meet the highest standards of training.

For information about Arizona licensure of Naturopathic physicians, contact the State of Arizona Naturopathic Physicians Board of Medical Examiners, 1400 W. Washington, Suite 230, Phoenix. AZ 85007, 602.542.3095.

What we treat:

Healing Pathways Medical Clinic provides therapies that bridge both conventional and natural medicine and integrate scientific research with the healing powers of nature. We are adept at helping people with a wide range of conditions including, but not limited to:

Alcoholism and addictions
Anxiety and panic attacks
Auto-immune diseases
Back and neck pain
Blood pressure problems
Cardiovascular diseases
Carpel tunnel syndrome
Chronic pain
Cholesterol problems
Colds and flu
Depression/mood disorders
Digestive disorders
Ear and sinus infections
Eczema/skin diseases

Fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue
IBS, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis
Kidney insufficiencies
Lifestyle counseling
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Rheumatic diseases
Smoking cessation
Stress management
Thyroid disorders
Weight loss
Women's health
Wellness & Prevention

Some Naturopathic Modalities Used:

Botanical Medicine

Plants have been used medicinally for thousands of years for their healing properties, and are the origins of many pharmaceutical drugs. They may be utilized in their traditional forms or as phytomedicines, which are scientifically researched and formulated.

Electrodermal Screening (EDS)

Also called Electrodermal Assessment According to the Voll Method (EAV).  This is based on electrically evaluating acupuncture meridians and the organ systems they control.  Follow the link for a short history of this screening method:
Meridian Stress Assessment

Clinical Nutrition

Naturopathic doctors receive extensive training in clinical nutrition. They understand that proper nutrition is the basis of health, and may utilize supplements, specific diets, or fasting as a means to safely address many acute and chronic diseases. In addition, they can educate the patient to select healthier dietary choices as preventative measures. Healing Pathways Medical Clinic offers a very effective weight loss program geared towards whole foods as well as tools and structure to keep the weight off permanently.


Homeopathy is based on the principle that like cures like. Homeopathic medicines are diluted thousands of times and can gently stimulate the body to heal itself. They can help some conditions that have not responded well to other therapies.


Hydrotherapy is the use of water for healing and to maintain health. Water may be applied locally or to the entire body, also known as constitutional hydrotherapy.

Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny needles into the skin to treat disease, normalize physiological body functions, modify pain perception, and promote health. This may be used alone or in conjunction with Chinese herbs, acupressure, and cupping, depending upon a patient’s needs.

Lifestyle Counseling

Naturopathic physicians are well trained to educate their patients in aspects of lifestyle including exercise, sleep, environmental exposures, and stress management. They can formulate plans for more optimal health while empowering the patient to take responsibility for their own health.

Nasospecific Technique

This is the insertion and inflation of a finger cot inside the nasal passages to realign the plates making up the skull.  Over 50 conditions have been alleviated by freeing of the cranial plates and allowing a normal rhythmic movement.  Many of the benefits of cranio-sacral therapy can be obtained in a much shorter time frame.

Neuromuscular Technique

After orthopedic physical assessment of acute and chronic joint dysfunction, various therapeutic treatments, such as soft tissue technique, muscle energy technique, and cranio-sacral technique, and osseous manipulation are used to correct disorders.


A combination of the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical” to describe the beneficial actions of concentrated food compounds.  Examples are resveratrol from red grapes as an antioxidant, DIM extract from broccoli, and isoflavonoids from soy or clover.  The benefit is that the specific portion of a food group may be used when the foods themselves do not supply enough of the compound in question to have a great impact upon health.

Weight Management

Various programs are employed ranging from counseling to injection therapies.  These are used to help those who are serious and dedicated to losing weight.

Read Articles by Dr. D

"For the first time in my memory, I've been able to get out bed! I have struggled and struggled for longer than I can remember. I believe that what we are doing is finally making a difference. Thanks and God Bless."
D., LA

"I can't believe it, but the floaters in my eyes that have been SERIOUSLY bothering me for the past three years are almost completely gone! I had a big fluffy one in my left eye that obstructed the center of my vision while I read, and it's all but disappeared, as have all the other ones. "
Debbie G., Tempe, AZ