What is Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic Doctors (ND) are licensed Primary Care Physicians with a philosophy of treating disease that differs from your typical Doctor (MD). When you visit an ND, your symptoms are of primary concern, but the ultimate goal is to find the cause.
The following 5 principles help to guide the Naturopathic Physician when developing a treatment plan for patients.
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae):
The healing power of nature is the inherent self-organizing and healing process of living systems which establishes, maintains and restores health. Naturopathic medicine recognizes this healing process to be ordered and intelligent. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to support, facilitate and augment this process by identifying and removing obstacles to health.
Do No Harm
Naturopathic physicians utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful effects and apply the least possible force or intervention necessary to restore health. Whenever possible, the suppression of symptoms is avoided to let the bodies own healing process take place.
Find The Cause
Illness does not occur without a reason. This cause may be genetics, environmental toxins, poor dietary choices, a sedentary lifestyle or a combination of everything. Underlying causes of illness and disease must be identified and removed before recovery can occur. Symptoms are the bodies way of telling us that something is wrong. If we continually treat symptoms while ignoring what is causing the underlying disease process, long term health is much harder to create. The naturopathic physician seeks to treat the causes of disease, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
Treat The Whole Person
Health and disease result from a complex of physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development. Naturopathic medicine recognizes the harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual as being essential to health. The multifactorial nature of health and disease requires a personalized and comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment. Naturopathic physicians treat the whole person as an individual while taking all of these factors into account.
Maintaining a balanced immune system, preventing disease and attaining optimal health in patients are primary objectives of naturopathic medicine. In practice, these objectives are accomplished through education and the promotion of healthy ways of living. Naturopathic physicians assess risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease and make appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.