Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine offers individualized health care. We approach each patient from a holistic perspective.Often one condition may affect several body systems, and seemingly unrelated symptoms are part of a larger picture. In addition, a person's lifestyle, values, past traumas and social support affect their health in ways often overlooked in conventional care. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) strive to help patients tap into innate healing processes, and to live in ways that promote health and vitality.

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) notes that

Naturopathic physicians combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic physicians help facilitate the body's inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic physician's role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment. [naturopathic.org]

Among the most common ailments they treat are allergies, chronic pain, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, obesity, respiratory conditions, heart disease, fertility problems, menopause, adrenal fatigue, cancer, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. NDs can perform minor surgeries, such as removing cysts or stitching up superficial wounds. However, they do not practice major surgery. NDs are trained to utilize prescription drugs, although the emphasis of naturopathic medicine is the use of natural healing agents.

Naturopathic physicians are trained in the art and science of natural health care at accredited medical colleges. The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice:

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.

Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)

The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.

First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)

Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:

  1. Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat.
  2. Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms.
  3. Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals' self-healing process.
Doctor as 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.

Treat the Whole Person

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.

Prevention

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.