What is Naturopathic Medicine? This is a hard question to answer. Is it the treatments we offer? Is it our philosophy?
It’s both and more.
Naturopathic medicine requires more from the patient than conventional medicine. You will be asked to participate in developing your own health plan, a plan that is both realistic and achievable. You will also be asked to sharpen your powers of self-observation and to honor the innate wisdom of your body, allowing it to heal at its own rate. This is especially true in chronic diseases where improvement tends to be steady but gradual. You may be asked to work on adjusting habits and patterns of behavior that no longer serve your best interests. Most patients feel empowered and excited as they develop the skills and insights to facilitate positive life changes.
The Naturopathic Physician’s primary purpose is to prevent disease, to promote health, and to restore, maintain and optimize health and well-being through individualized patient care and public education
The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
First, to do no harm: primum non nocere
As naturopathic physicians we prefer to use non-invasive treatments that minimize the risk of side effects. We are trained to know which patients we can treat safely and when to refer to other health care practitioners.
To co-operate with the healing powers of nature: vis medicatrix naturae
Nature uses the healing mechanisms of the body and mind to maintain and restore health. As naturopathic doctors we help to facilitate healing by using treatments that are in harmony with these natural processes.
To address the fundamental causes of disease: tolle causam
People’s lives are complicated and so is their state of health. People usually have more than one health complaint. As naturopathic doctors we learn how these symptoms are related to find and treat the root of the problem rather than merely dealing with each individual symptom. By doing this health is restored and future diseases are prevented.
To heal the whole person through individualized treatment
Each person is unique and complex and as such deserves a treatment based on their individual needs, recognizing all aspects of their lives.
Doctor as teacher: docere
A naturopathic doctor believes education gives the patient the power to take responsibility for their own health. I enjoy working with my patients to establish an open dialogue where they feel comfortable to ask questions and modify programs to meet their individual needs. Health care should not be one sided. By developing a team approach there is a higher rate of success.
Many of today’s major killers such as heart disease, and cancer are preventable. Naturopathic medicine teaches patients how to live a healthy life so that they can prevent major illnesses. Also, naturopathic medicine can prevent minor illnesses from progressing into more serious or chronic degenerative diseases.