Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The Healing Power of Nature
The healing power of nature is the inherent self-healing vital force of the body that establishes, maintains and restores health. Naturopathic medicine recognizes this healing process to be ordered and intelligent. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to support, facilitate and augment this process by identifying and removing obstacles to health and recovery, and by supporting the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
Identify and Treat the Causes
Illness does not occur without cause. Causes may originate in one or many systems of the body. Underlying causes of illness and disease must be identified and removed before complete recovery can occur. Symptoms can be expressions of the body’s attempt to defend itself, to adapt and recover, to heal itself, or may be results of the causes of disease. These signs and symptoms are addressed so that degenerative disease is avoided. The absence of disease is not the presence of health. To create optimal wellness is more than just the removal of symptoms but to create a feeling of well-being in all systems of the body. The naturopathic physician seeks to treat the causes of disease, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm
Naturopathic physicians follow three precepts to avoid harming the patient:
Doctor As Teacher
The original meaning of the word doctor is teacher. A principal objective of naturopathic medicine is to educate the patient and emphasize self-responsibility for health. Naturopathic physicians also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship. The development of workshops, classes and lectures in this center is one of the ways we strive to integrate this principle into our practices.
Treat the Whole Person
Health and disease result from a complex of physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development. Naturopathic medicine recognizes the harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual as being essential to health. The multifactorial nature of health and disease requires a personalized and comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment. Naturopathic physicians treat the whole person taking all of these factors into account.
Naturopathic medical colleges emphasize the study of health as well as disease. The prevention of disease and the attainment of optimal health in patients are primary objectives of naturopathic medicine. In practice, these objectives are accomplished through education and the promotion of healthy ways of living. Naturopathic physicians assess risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and make appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine asserts that one cannot be healthy in an unhealthy environment and is committed to the creation of a world in which humanity may thrive. Lifestyle recommendations (eg. Diet, exercise, sleep, etc..) are one of the most powerful ways to attain and maintain optimal wellness.