Naturopathic medicine blends centuries-old knowledge of natural therapies with current conventional wisdom in the art and science of health and human systems.
Naturopathic medicine concentrates on whole patient wellness with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and self care.
A licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, but also studies a broad range of natural therapeutics.
Naturopathic doctors diagnose disease using clinical and laboratory diagnostic testing and treat patients by using natural modalities such as physical manipulation, clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, counseling, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy, among others.
The following six principles guide the therapeutic methods and modalities of Naturopathic medicine:
FIRST DO NO HARM – PRIMUM NON NOCERE
Naturopathic medicine uses therapies that are safe and effective.
THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE – VIS MEDICATRIX NATURAE
The human body possesses the inherent ability to restore health. The physician’s role is to facilitate this process by identifying and removing obstacles to recovery and augmenting this self-healing ability.
IDENTIFY AND TREAT THE CAUSE, NOT JUST THE EFFECT – TOLLE CAUSAM
The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to eliminate or merely suppress symptoms.
TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON – TOLLE TOTUM
Naturopathic physicians treat each individual by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual path.
THE PHYSICIAN IS A TEACHER – DOCERE
The physician’s major role is to educate, empower, and motivate patients to take responsibility for their own health. Creating a healthy, cooperative relationship with the patient has a strong therapeutic value.
PREVENTION IS THE BEST “CURE” – PRAEVENIRE
Naturopathic physicians are preventive medicine specialists. Prevention of disease is best accomplished through education and a lifestyle that supports health.