Doctor of Naprapathic Medicine

Get the Skills to Become a Doctor of Naprapathic Medicine in as Little as 3 Years

Learn the in-depth anatomical knowledge it takes to practice as a Naprapathic Doctor

Naprapathic Medicine is a niche “passion career” – people who are passionate about health and wellness do it because they love it. Those with a background in sports medicine, physical therapy, massage therapy, nursing, and other healthcare professions would be suited to learn Naprapathy as their prior certifications pair well with integrative manual medicine.

What is Naprapathy?

Naprapathy is manually applied movements, passive and active, designed to bring motion with consequent release of tension into abnormally tensed and rigid ligaments, muscles and articulations of the human body.

Naprapathic Doctors are connective tissue specialists. They evaluate people with connective tissue disorders through palpation (using one’s hands to examine the body). Naprapaths treat patients by gently manipulating vertebrae to stretch the attached ligaments and connective tissue, which may be irritating the nerves as they exit the spinal column, causing pain.

Naprapaths may treat their patients in a variety of ways, via:

  • Connective tissue manipulation (working the soft tissue, or fascia)
  • Teaching therapeutic or rehabilitative exercises
  • Postural counseling
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Use of effective properties of heat, cold, light, water, radiant energy, electricity, sound, and air
  • Recommending assistive devices for the purpose of preventing, correcting or alleviating physical disability

Shadow an Intern for a Day and See What Naprapathic Doctors Do! Learn More »

Click Here to see an overview of the Doctor of Naprapathic Medicine Program journey.

Our Unique Program

Although similar in some capacities, Naprapathy differs from Chiropractic in critical ways. Patients view Naprapathy as an alternative to high velocity adjustments (popping and cracking) that Chiropractors utilize to treat musculoskeletal conditions. Naprapathy gently treats range of motion, muscular tension and spinal alignment.

A requirement of SUNM’s program is that students already have a Bachelor’s degree in a health or anatomy related field.

Benefits of SUNM’s program:

The program is 75% online. At this time, we only offer an accelerated program. Students complete a 4-year program in 3 years.

The first two years (8 quarters) students participate in 6 classes per quarter. In 5 of those 8 quarters, the student attends 2 classes a week on campus in classroom and 3 of the 8 quarters, students attend 3 classes a week on campus in classroom.

At the end of the first two years (8 quarters), besides successfully passing all classes, the student must successfully pass the clinic entrance exam to progress into the third year and the internship portion of the program.

During the third year (all 4 quarters) the students participate in 3 classes per quarter: 1 on campus and 2 online. The students must also be in the on-site intern clinic for an additional 12 hours weekly for 50 weeks, completing a minimum of 500 Naprapathic treatments and 15 nutrition evaluation sessions with patients to qualify for graduation.

During the third year, the student must complete and defend their Naprapathic Research Project. After graduation and completing all requirements, the student must successfully pass the National Board of Naprapathic Examiners exam to be eligible to apply for licensure with the New Mexico Medical Board.

Course Descriptions

How Naprapathy is different from other manual therapies:

  • Naprapaths are connective tissue specialists that treat ligaments, tendons, and fascia
  • Naprapathic treatment does not require a referral from a physician
  • The sports medicine industry is flooded with competing graduates whereas Naprapathy stands out as a unique treatment, that is often covered by insurance.
  • Many physicians prefer Naprapathy as it is a gentler form of therapy that treats the soft tissue (fascia) that is at the root of most dis-ease. In other words, it treats the causes of chronic pain.

Career Opportunities

There is an increasing demand for integrative forms of pain management and stress relief. Naprapathy allows practitioners to treat connective tissue ailments naturally, without the use of pharmaceutical drugs to manage stress and pain.

As a graduate of the Doctorate of Naprapathy Program at SUNM, you can pursue a career treating in:

  • Your own practice (our program prepares you to do so)
  • Medical Doctors Clinics
  • Patient Centered Medical Homes
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Other Integrative Medical Practices
  • Occupational Medicine Clinics
  • Or even go on to teach in a Naprapathic College
  • and more!

Licensed practitioners are encouraged to start their own practice as Naprapathic treatment is a covered benefit by many insurance packages in the state of New Mexico.

Growing Industry

Integrative, holistic and integrative manual medicine and the treatment of fascia and connective tissue is a growing trend in the US, gaining more and more momentum daily.

It is even being incorporated into mainstream medical facilities and taught at major universities. Naprapathy represents an under-served niche market. There are currently less than thirty licensed Naprapaths serving 300,000 insured potential clients in New Mexico alone, and 200 licensed Naprapaths nation wide.

Considering the demand for manual medicine and as fascia / connective tissue treatment become advocated by mainstream medicine, the growth rate of the Naprapathic Manual Medicine, is potentially unlimited!

Get Licensed!

Naprapathy is currently a licensed profession in two states: New Mexico and Illinois. SUNM has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification for these two states.

In order to attain licensure in New Mexico graduates must have a degree from a school recognized by the New Mexico Medical Board. They must also successfully present their Naprapathic Research Project, pass the National Board of Naprapathic Examiners examination and pass a criminal background check to be licensed. For more information regarding licensure in New Mexico please refer to the New Mexico Medical Board New Mexico Medical Board – Naprapathic Physician Licenses (

For information regarding licensure in Illinois please refer to the Illinois Board of Professional Regulation State of Illinois | Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (

Click here to learn about licensing in other states

Start your Integrative Manual Medicine Journey Today…

As a catalyst for the Naprapathic movement, SUNM aims to advance Integrative Manual Medicine with the superior quality and professionalism of its graduates. If you’re ready for a rewarding career as a Doctor of Naprapathic Medicine  Contact Us and we’ll help you get started! Give us a call at 1-505-629-7376 to speak to a friendly admissions counselor today.

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