What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic modalities and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing processes. The practice of naturopathic medicine includes scientific and empirical methods. It utilizes modern, traditional and ancient approaches that provide an exhaustive scope of practice.
THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE
Naturopathic medicine acknowledges an inherent self-healing process in people that is intelligent and systematic. Naturopathic physicians aim to identify and eliminate obstacles that prevent healing and recovery, and to assist and enhance this inherent self-healing process.
IDENTIFY AND TREAT THE CAUSE
The naturopathic physician pursues to go beyond simply treating or suppressing symptoms, seeking to identify and remove the underlying cause of an illness or disease.
FIRST DO NO HARM
Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat
Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms
Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.
DOCTOR AS TEACHER
Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-discipline and responsibility for their health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON
Naturopathic physicians treat each patient as a whole person by considering individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total overall health contains a spiritual element, naturopathic physicians acknowledge this importance and encourage their patients to take steps toward their personal spiritual development and health.
Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, susceptibility to disease, heredity and to incorporate appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent future illness.