Naturopathic Medicine in a Nutshell
Naturopathic medicine is based upon the body’s innate ability to heal itself, also known as the vital force, the vis, or the qi. Naturopathic medicine is a primary health care profession that emphasizes prevention and optimal health. It encompasses the latest modern science and research as well as traditional, empirical methods passed down through the ages.
Naturopathic doctors utilize therapeutic methods that encourage the self-healing process of the body. Methods and modalities of treatment are selected based on the six naturopathic principles as it applies to the individual needs of each patient.
The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic doctors follow the following principles as the foundation of our medical practice:
- The Healing Power of Nature: We recognize that the body has an innate self-healing process that is ordered and intelligent. We act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
- Identify and Treat the Cause: We seek to identify and remove the underlying cause of illness rather than merely suppressing symptoms.
- First Do No Harm: We follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient.
- We utilize methods and medicinal substances that minimize the risk of harmful side effects.
- We avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms.
- We acknowledge, respect and work with the individuals’ self-healing process.
- Doctor as Teacher: We educate our patients and encourage self-responsibility for health.
- Treat the Whole Person: We treat each patient by taking into account the physical, mental, emotional, genetic and environmental factors that affect each individual
- Prevention: We emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease.