Naturopathic Practitioner (NP)

Woman Doing Yoga

“In the end, we will enhance only what we love. We will love only what we deeply understand. We will understand only what we learn from experiential learning.”
– Steve Schechter, N.P., H.H.P.


This Program is designed to train you in the use of Naturopathy for self-help, personal growth and for the benefit of others through a successful and increasingly popular career.  These classes qualify you to become a Naturopathic Practitioner (N.P.).

Naturopathy can be practiced alone or in conjunction with the Holistic Health Practitioner license or other therapeutic practices.  Those in the fields of medicine, nursing, chiropractic, physical therapy, dentistry, massage, acupuncture, counseling and other healing arts use clinical Naturopathy in their existing practices.

Naturopaths use natural therapies (naturo) to treat pathology or diseases and dysfunctions (pathy = pathology abreviated).  Naturopathy helps the body, emotions and spirit to heal itself by re-establishing balance where there is imbalance.

Naturopathic origins are usually attributed to Hippocrates who, 2000 years ago, taught that the key to good health was to live as naturally and as moderately as possible.  He approached healing with “let-the-body-heal-itself” principles.

Others believe that its origin is as old as the human race: that it came into being with the first human who covered an injured leg with a leaf that soothed it; or chewed a root to dull pain; or eased an aching foot in water; or observed and then practiced the innate wisdom of injured animals; or spontaneously prayed, meditated, or practiced positive visualization.

Whether it is nutrition, herbs, massage, hydrotherapy, counseling, aromatherapy, energetic healing, prayer or meditation, or any other natural healing modality, naturopathy’s essential work is to establish the cause of a breakdown and then alleviate rather than suppress the symptoms while at the same time empowering the client to be in charge of his or her health. This becomes true self-determination, holistically.

This program teaches you how to integrate different natural healing (naturopathic) therapies into appropriate health programs.  The emphasis will be learning dynamic health counseling skills and how to individualize   naturopathic and holistic health therapy techniques appropriate for the client’s unique needs.

Training includes your self-directed selections from clinical master nutrition, clinical master herbology, relaxation and rejuvenation, clinical master aromatherapy, water sound color & light therapies, health analysis and assessments, health sciences, and other traditional and cutting edge natural therapies. Also, includes a wide and comprehensive list of optional and elective classes to choose from (see below under Electives – including massage therapies and therapeutic bodywork,) plus classes in focused activity with intention—such as emotional, psychological, soul and spirit or spiritual counseling, prayer, meditation, and visualization to empower body-mind healing.  Emphasis is both for therapy and prevention as well as generating optimal health, vitality, and wellness. This course trains you in complementary medicine, alternative medicine, traditional naturopathy, modern progressive naturopathic medicine, and other natural healing approaches both for self-help or self-healing with personal growth and to develop a successful, professional career and practice. Deep, long term therapy and healing occurs when concerns are integrated and holistically addressed—physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.

Please note: NHI is non-dogmatic; the college does not promote any single nutritional, religious, spiritual, or health path, and respects individual choice.

Your Naturopathic Practitioner Certification Program (N.P.) includes your 1,000 hour Holistic Health Practitioner (H.H.P.) Diploma and License!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any and all  classes you take at NHI count towards your Holistic Health Practitioner Program (H.H.P.) and Naturopathic Practitioner Program (N.P.) License and Certification Courses. You can take electives from any classes or Programs.

You will receive comprehensive, truly holistic naturopathic health training!

Required Class Hours: 4,100 total Credit Hours, with 1200 – 1600 of those hours taking the form of practicums and client case studies, which can also be a source of income, thus enabling you to “Earn As You Learn.”

Diploma/Certificate of Completion and License: Holistic Health Practitioner (H.H.P. & N.P.).  After completing 1,000 hours of Naturopathy training, including the required classes for the Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) Program, you will qualify to be a licensed Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP).  Once you are a licensed HHP, you can also start your required practicum* hours in the Naturopathy Program while earning a living as a licensed HHP.  (The practicum* is described below the total cost).  Upon completion of the Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) Program within the Naturopathic Practitioner Program (NP), a diploma/certificate of completion is awarded which fulfills the requirement by the City of Encinitas for licensing as a Holistic Health Practitioner.  There are many other municipalities and counties in California (such as San Diego) that have a Holistic Health Practitioner License that requires 1,000 hours of training.  The City of Encinitas does not require an examination or license fee in connection with Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) licensing.

Senate Bill SB577 was signed into law January 2003 liberalizes the scope of “complementary and alternative medicine!” 

Graduation from any of our programs does not qualify you as a licensed medical doctor.  You cannot diagnose, prescribe, treat symptoms, defect, injury, or disease pursuant to California Business and Professional Code 2052. You can do health counseling or therapies as a health practitioner or therapist.   Graduation from this program does not qualify someone to become a licensed Naturopathic Physician or Doctor.  Our use of the word “clinical” refers to working in a clinical environment and does not imply being a licensed doctor or practicing medicine.  Please call us should you have questions.

Note: If there are any required classes that you feel strongly opposed to taking, you are welcome to speak with our NHI Admissions Director or the NHI Director about a possible “test-out”.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any and all classes you take at NHI count towards your Holistic Health Practitioner (H.H.P.) and the Naturopathic Practitioner (N.P.) Programs.

Our 1,000 hour Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) program can include the following diplomas and certificates:  Certified Clinical Master Nutritionist, Certified Clinical Master Herbalist, Massage Therapist, Massage Technician,  Spa & Massage Therapist, Sports Therapist & Performance Enhancement, Certified Aromatherapist, Thai Massage, Lomi-Lomi Hawaiian Healing Arts, and  Certified  Yoga Instructor Somatics & Movement Therapist (YISMT) ™ & Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT)®..

Additionally, your Naturopathic Practitioner (N.P.) Certification includes your Holistic Health Practitioner (H.H.P.) Diploma plus Certifications from the other NHI Programs that you complete.

Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) and Massage Therapist   ELECTIVES* – *NHI also offers the following programs for diploma/certificate of completion. Electives for the 500 hour Massage Therapist Program include any of the classes from Spa & Massage Therapist, Sports Therapist & Performance Enhancement, Thai Massage, Lomi-Lomi Hawaiian Healing Arts or any of our Massage and Bodywork (MT) classes.

Electives for the 1,000 hour Holistic Health Practitioner (H.H.P.) Program include any of the individual classes or full programs from Certified Nutritionist Consultant, Certified Clinical Master Herbalist, Massage Therapist, Massage Technician, Spa & Massage Therapist, Sports Therapist & Performance Enhancement, Certified Aromatherapist, Thai Massage, Lomi-Lomi Hawaiian Healing Arts, Yoga Instructor Somatics & Movement Therapist (YISMT & RYT)™, Chinese and Traditional Oriental Medicine and Healing Arts, Ayurvedic Medicine, Energetic & Vibrational Medicine, Herbal Medicine Making, Sound Therapy, Color Therapy, Light Therapy, Business and Marketing, Hormones and Endocrinology, Counseling Skills, Water and Hydrotherapy, Ethics, Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, and much, much more.

 *The Naturopathy practicum is conducted similar to earning practicum hours while in training for a social worker or marriage family therapist.  While in training to be a Naturopath, and after you have had at least 1000 hrs. or more of training and have become a licensed Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP), you qualify to work for yourself or another licensed therapist for pay—such as for a Medical Doctor, M.D., Chiropractor, D.C., Physical Therapist, P.T., Acupuncturist, L.Ac., etc­.—and receive credit hours for your work.  You will fill out NHI evaluation forms to assist us in monitoring your progress and in guiding/helping you fulfill your educational goals.  If you are working with another therapist during any part of your practicum, we also have NHI evaluation forms for the therapist to fill out to even further assist you with informative and constructive feedback.  Meanwhile, either way, you will be able to “Earn As You Learn”.

For  those students taking the N.P. Program Residentially (not Distance Learning): the externs will meet all together in seminar fashion at NHI (as part of the 1,200‑1,600 hour practicum) under the supervision of either Steve Schechter, N.P. and NHI Director; Alison Reid-Bretell, L.Ac. & Certified Medical Examiner; or David Wolfson, N.P.  This seminar subsection of the practicum counts as part of the 1,200-1,600 hour naturopathic practitioner practicum.

During the seminar aspect of the practicum, each extern will have to present at least one client history describing specifically the forms of therapy that were used (such as in professional massage) or educationally discussed (as in nutrition and herbology).  Each extern is also expected to attend in the company of a client they have either worked with or plan to work with and, again, present the client history and discuss an educational program regarding natural therapies.