What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct part of primary health care that emphasizes prevention and self-healing. Dating back to the 1890s, it uses natural therapies for health care that focuses on prevention, wellness and respect for nature’s inherent healing ability.
The practice of naturopathic medicine follow these 6 principles:
1. The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body’s inherent ability to heal itself and aims to identify and facilitate this healing ability by removing obstacles to recovery.
2. Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)
Naturopathic medicine seeks to identify and remove underlying causes of illness.
3. First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
To avoid harm, naturopathic medicine uses methods and medicinal substances that minimize harmful side effects, avoid the harmful suppression of symptoms, and use the least force necessary. It acknowledges and respects an individual’s healing process.
4. Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
Naturopathic medicine acknowledges the therapeutic value of the relationship between doctors and patients. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) provide education and encouragement of self-responsibility for health.
5. Treat the Whole Person
NDs take into account a person’s physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social make up and often, encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual path.
With an emphasis on disease prevention, assessment of risk factors, and hereditary susceptibility to disease in determining appropriate interventions, naturopathic medicine strives to create a healthy world where humanity may thrive.
What do Naturopathic Doctors do?
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) blend centuries-old knowledge with a philosophy that nature is the most effective healer and research on current health and human systems. Their diagnosis focuses on identifying the underlying cause(s) of disease.
The therapeutic treatment from NDs includes physical manipulation, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy and hydrotherapy. These are integrated with the conventional, scientific and empirical methodology of the ancient laws of nature.
How are NDs educated?
NDs attend naturopathic medical school and are clinically trained to work in all aspects of primary health care.
Their education is founded on the same basic sciences as medical doctors and is similarly followed by 4 years of naturopathic medical school. Naturopathic medical school includes at least 2 years of supervised internship in clinical settings and is completed with rigorous professional boards exams for licensing.
Many NDs study holistic approaches to therapy with specific training in clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, physical medicine and counseling, midwifery, acupuncture and Oriental medicine.