Naturopathic medicine emphasizes prevention, treatment and optimal health using therapeutic methods and natural remedies to support an individual’s health.
Naturopathy is a lifestyle, a philosophy, an art and an alternative medicine that embraces the whole person.
The practice of naturopathic medicine blends modern and traditional, scientific and holistic methods.
Naturopathy includes diagnostic and therapeutic modalities such as clinical and laboratory diagnostic testing, nutritional medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathic remedies, natural remedies, holistic medicine, ultrasound therapy and naturopathic physical medicine _ including naturopathic manipulative therapy and homeopathic chelation therapy.
Naturopathy is based on six principles:
- The Healing Power of Nature or Vis Medicatrix Naturae (the Vis):
The Vis recognizes the body’s natural healing process, which is ordered and intelligent.The first step for the naturopathic doctor is to assess the Vis, or the process present in the body that is constantly striving toward health and defending disease.The naturopathic doctor’s holistic approach must understand the body’s processes and their overall function within the world, considering the mind, body and spiritual connection.The naturopathic physician also works to identify and remove any obstacles to healing and recovery by doing anything possible to facilitate natural healing.Holistic medicine is dependent on strengthening the immune system, decreasing toxicity, normalizing inflammatory function, optimizing metabolic function, improving nutrition, balancing regulatory systems, enhancing regeneration and helping someone live in harmony with their life force.
- Identify and Treat the Causes:
Naturopathic doctors assess, and then work to remove, the underlying causes of illness, or “dis-ease,” rather than seeking to simply eliminate or suppress symptoms. Naturopaths take a holistic approach that optimizes natural remedies and herbal medicine to improve a person’s natural health.
- First Do No Harm:
Naturopaths use natural treatments, medicinal substances and natural remedies that aim to minimize the risk of harmful side effects.Application of treatments coincides with the naturopathic philosophy of high to low intensity or invasiveness in a patient.To facilitate the healing process, naturopathic therapies are chosen which are most efficient and have the least potential harm to the patient.The natural order of naturopathic intervention is to:
- Re-establish the basis for natural health, including spiritual health;
- Stimulate the Vis;
- Tone and nourish weakened systems;
- Correct structural integrity;
- Prescribe specific natural remedies, herbal remedies and modalities for conditions;
- Prescribe pharmaceutical substances, as needed;
- Use radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.
Derived from Hippocrates, the clinical framework’s order emphasizes self-healing and respecting the origin of disease with applications, care and necessary treatments for natural health and healing using the least intervention.
- Doctor as Teacher:
A primary goal of naturopathic doctors is to educate their patients, while encouraging self-responsibility for health.The naturopathic doctor empowers patients to heal by helping them take an active participation in their own natural health.
- Treat the Whole Person:
Naturopathic physicians spend time with the patient to assess their individual physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.Determinants of natural health include:
- Physical/Spiritual/Emotional Health
- Decreased Stress Levels
Naturopathic doctors emphasize disease prevention by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, then making appropriate adjustments and/or interventions working in partnership with their patients.