With its roots dating back to the 1900s, formalized naturopathic medicine training has been practiced worldwide for two centuries – although naturopathic modalities have existed for much longer. Despite this long history, its teachings have never been more relevant than they are today, where technology, pollution, poor diet and high stress levels take a toll on health like never before.
Your body’s ability to heal itself is much greater than you think
If you bang your face against a door, your face swells up immediately. The swelling results from the increased circulation to the area as your body starts healing itself. Should you decide to bang your face three to four times a day (as we symbolically subject our body to when we eat refined sugars and trans-fats), your face stays swollen and never gets a chance to heal. This engenders chronic inflammation.
Designed to address this endemic condition, Naturopathic Medicine has the potential to safely treat diverse lifestyle diseases as well as common maladies such as gastrointestinal conditions, asthma, skin conditions and allergies. Whatever the condition, all naturopathic treatments aim to uncover the root causes of illness through a natural first approach. Additionally, naturopathic treatments are designed to prevent rather than cure, guiding patients to improve their own health, rather than simply managing symptoms of disease and illness as they arise.
Naturopathic medicine encompasses therapeutic methods, including both modern and traditional medicines like botanical medicine, counseling, homeopathy, acupuncture, IV therapy and nutritional therapy. Naturopathic medicine is a science-based approach that integrates complementary therapies into a modern medical framework. Nowadays, naturopathic physicians are trained and licensed as primary care physicians.
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, facilitating and augmenting this inherent self-healing process.
Identify and Treat the Causes
The naturopathic physician identifies and removes the underlying causes of illness rather than merely eliminating or suppressing symptoms.
First Do No Harm
Primum Non Nocere
Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming patients.
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances that 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-responsibility for wellness. They also employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic physicians treat every patient by considering individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Since total health also includes holistic well being, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions together with their patients to prevent illness.