What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is the science and art of building health in individuals by employing six principles:
- First do no harm. – primum non nocere
The body desires to be well, and you may be unaware of things you are doing that upset your body’s natural balance. The signs and symptoms which make up our named diseases, syndromes and disorders are not the actual problem — they are the evidence and warning beacons that there is a problem. They may be more than just a warning, they are the body’s attempts at healing itself or overcoming a problem.
- The healing power of nature. – vis medicatrix naturae
Naturopathic doctors are trained in using pharmaceuticals and minor surgery, but we are experts in natural medicine. Nutrition, diet, lifestyle, physical medicine, plant medicine, and homeopathy are a few examples. Treatment plans are made to reflect and support our body’s ability to restore balance as we work to remove the obstacles which keep your body from healing itself, and then support the healing process. The Healing Power of Nature – fruits, vegetables, medicinal plants, fresh air, and sunshine — can be powerful medicine.
- Discover and treat the cause of symptoms. – tolle causam
Specialized medicine looks at the body in parts and systems. The naturopathic doctor pays attention to signs and symptoms and seeks their root cause and true reason behind the plaguing symptoms. Different types of tests contribute to revealing the causes, such as allergy tests, saliva tests, comprehensive stool analyses, urine organic acid tests, breath tests, and blood tests.
- Treat the whole person. – tolle totum
Naturopathic Medicine treats the whole person and considers the way that all those systems are interrelated. Once a true cause is identified, Naturopathic medicine focuses treatment on the reason, rather than merely making the symptoms go away. Treating the whole person may involve changes in diet or lifestyle, or increasing exercise so that the body is in better balance. Such ‘prescriptions’ may seem difficult, but the end result is greater vitality and a better quality of life.
- The doctor is a teacher. – docere
“Doctor” originally comes from a Latin word meaning “teacher.” Naturopathic doctors empower you in your healing journey by helping you to understand your disease process and how you can help yourself heal.
- Prevention is the best “cure.” – praevenire
Prevention saves incredible amounts of money, but more importantly, it protects patients from developing severe, chronic, debilitating disease. In Naturopathic medicine, prevention occurs on many levels. Prevention means paying attention to early signs and symptoms of disease, and addressing the root cause before complications develop. It also means examining lifestyle, history and labwork for risk factors, and taking steps toward prevention before any signs or symptoms even arise! Prevention requires more than relieving symptoms, it requires identifying and working on deep, root causes so that they cannot develop into full blown dis-ease. Prevention also means treating young babies, pregnant mothers, and couples before they even get pregnant, in order to optimize the health of everyone involved. It means taking rational, reasonable action in line with the laws of nature to ensure that everyone can experience optimal wellness.