WHAT IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process. Naturopathy gives patients options because Naturopathic Doctors (ND) focus on treating the whole person (mind, body, spirit).
Your first visit with a Naturopathic Physician will usually be an longer than an hour. They will find out about your life and do their best to capture a full picture of your health including mental emotional struggles, environmental influences, and family history.
WHAT IS A NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR?
A Naturopathic Doctor is a board licensed medical doctor who uses natural means of treatment FIRST. They are trained in conventional diagnosis and up-to-date laboratory and imaging techniques. In addition, Naturopathic Doctors are trained in a variety of healing modalities including homeopathy, herbalism, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, physical medicine, physiotherapy, nutrition, hydrotherapy, IV therapy, environmental medicine, detoxification, and pharmacology.
Naturopathic Doctors attend a 4-year graduate level Naturopathic Medical School. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the Naturopathic Doctor is required to complete 4 years of training in clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, and hydrotherapy. The degree conferred is Doctor of Naturopathy. A Naturopathic Doctor uses the initials ND after their name to denote their degree.
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PRINCIPLES OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE
FIRST DO NO HARM (PRIMUM NON NOCERE)
Naturopathic Physicians follow three guide lines to avoid harming patients:
- 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.
THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE (VIS MEDICATRIX NATURAE)
Naturopathic Medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic Physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
DISCOVER AND TREAT THE CAUSE (TOLLE CAUSAM)
The Naturopathic Physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON (TOLLE TOTUM)
Naturopathic Physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual 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.
THE PHYSICIAN IS A TEACHER (DOCERE)
Naturopathic Physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
PREVENTION IS THE BEST “CURE” (PRAEVENIRE)
Naturopathic Physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.