Massachusetts Legislators Approve Naturopathic Licensing Bill

In case you missed it, Massachusetts, the state known for being the "first" for just about everything ("Obamacare" was invented here by Ted Kennedy and Mitt Romney, and we were the first state to have mandatory health insurance -- two years before Obama was elected president; same-sex marriage was enacted here first; etc.) has just signed into law Bill S.2335 which will allow naturopathic doctors to finally be licensed to practice in the state.

Up until now, if a Massachusetts resident wanted to seek medical help from a naturopathic doctor, they had to cross state lines to Rhode Island, New Hampshire, or beyond. Not to mention that insurance did not cover that choice whatsoever. Payment for services, appointments, and supplements was out-of-pocket only. Every New England state except Massachusetts have licensed NDs for more than two decades.

While slow on the uptake, the Commonwealth finally stepped into the 21st century when Governor Baker signed S.2335 on January 11, 2017.

This licensing will give Massachusetts citizens more choices for health care. More importantly, practitioners using the term "naturopathic doctor" will now have proof of credentials with licensure. Until now, people without the appropriate education and training were using the term, and patients had no way of knowing if the practitioner had the right education or training.

It was due to a grassroots campaign led by patients just like you and me, and local NDs who are appropriately trained and wanted to offer their expertise in preventive care and alternative medicine, that this historic leap in medical care in the Commonwealth occurred.

My favorite part of naturopathic medicine is that the practitioner identifies and treats the CAUSE of a given illness. They do not just "treat", they find out what's going on and target the root cause. This is the one thing that has always bothered me about traditional medicine. I already know how to "treat" my fibromyalgia... I want to get to the root of the problem. To me, this is great news, and I can't wait to get started working with a licensed ND right here in our own state!

For more information about naturopathic doctors and naturopathic medicine's guiding principles, check out the MSND website.

Kathleen Mueller, fibromyalgia blogger, lives in central Massachusetts with her two dogs and three cats.