What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a system of healthcare that blends both western medicine and holistic therapies to provide an opportunity for healing and wellness to occur. Naturopathic doctors attend a four-year naturopathic medical school and are clinically trained to work in all aspects of family health. They receive education in pharmacology, botanical medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, physical manipulations, nutrition, and counseling. Licensed naturopathic doctors have the ability to order laboratory testing, diagnose, monitor, and treat illness and disease. They work to establish health by adhering to the following principles listed below:
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic medicine follows this principle to avoid harming the patient. They conduct this by utilizing methods and medicinal substances that reduce the risk of harm. As a rule, they will use the least force necessary to treat an illness. As the saying goes, “why use a steak knife, when a butter knife will do?”
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
Naturopathic doctors recognize the body’s innate ability to heal itself. This is often termed as, the vital force. Naturopathic doctors utilize modalities that help stimulate the vital force in order to promote healing. These modalities consist of acupuncture, homeopathy, and hydrotherapy.
Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)
Naturopathic medicine emphasizes the importance of addressing the root cause of one’s illness instead of suppressing the symptoms.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
Naturopathic physicians empower patients to take charge of their health by teaching and instructing them how to do so. They respect and value the therapeutic relationship between doctor and patient. Shared decision making is encouraged whenever possible.
Treat the Whole Person (Tolle Totem)
Naturopathic physicians emphasize the importance of treating each person as a whole. They evaluate and address a patient’s physical, emotional, mental, genetic, environmental, and spiritual health in order to bring them into balance.
Naturopathic physicians emphasize disease prevention by assessing one’s risk factors, family history, lifestyle, and genetics in order to prevent illness or disease. They work to provide an opportunity for optimal healing and wellness to occur.