The main naturopathic modalities that I will be using as a future ND include: nutrition (diet and supplements), botanical medicine, counseling, hydrotherapy, and physical medicine.
When I first started at CCNM, and when these modalities were first introduced to me, I naively thought that physical medicine only consisted of massage and manipulation (aka chiropractic medicine). This year, however, I am learning that physical medicine is so much more! In third year, students take the course 'Physical Medicine'. I've only had four classes of 'Phys Med' thus far, but boy have a I learned a lot of new therapies.
Physical Medicine appears to be the best modality to body complaints; things like: sore muscles, sports injuries, strains, sprains, back pain, tension, nerve impingement, scars, etc. Phys Med involves a lot of pain management and techniques that encourage healing.
Some of the Phys Med tools that we will be learning this year include (learning both theoretically and practically (i.e. hands on)):
Ultrasound: Not just an imaging technique, but a treatment too! The ultrasound head sends sound waves through the tissue. The sound waves cause internal vibrations, causing collagen re-growth promoting repair or increasing heat (heat is important in the tissue repair process, it means blood, hormones, growth factors, white blood cells (mast cells), and other repair elements are coming to the injury to fix it up).
IFC (interferential current therapy): Very gentle electrical impulses are sent through the tissue surrounding the injury/pain. This low-frequency stimulation/vibrations causes the body to send healing factors (see above) to the site, helping to heal and relieve pain.
Lasers: Similar to ultrasound and IFC, lasers use light beams to heal the damaged tissue/painful area by encouraging collagen regrowth and all those healing factors (see above) to the site.
Who would of thought that sound, electrical current/vibration, and light could be so good for the body!