Naturopathic medicine is health care that emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process through the use of natural therapies, including both modern and traditional treatment methods.
Naturopathic medical doctors (NMDs) are educated and trained in accredited four-year naturopathic medical colleges and universities. They diagnose, prevent, and treat acute and chronic illness by restoring and establishing optimal health, supporting their patients’ inherent self-healing process. Naturopathic medical doctors work to identify underlying causes of illness and develop personalized treatment plans using natural therapies to address them.
The therapeutic modalities used in naturopathic medicine (including clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, and pharmacology) integrate conventional, scientific and empirical methodology with the ancient laws of nature.
Naturopathic medicine supports the body’s healing abilities and empowers individuals to make lifestyle changes necessary for their optimal health. We work in harmony with the body and with nature. Naturopathic medicine utilizes a holistic approach to healing, addressing the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.
The core of naturopathic medicine is to treat each person as an individual and to consider his or her whole being. We do not treat one bodily system as a separate entity from the rest of the person’s body, because each system is interconnected with the other.
The Seven Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
1. Vis Medicatrix Naturae: The healing power of nature.
Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body’s inherent ability to heal itself. Naturopathic physicians identify and remove obstacles to cure.
2. Prinum Non Nocere: First, do no harm.
Naturopathic medicine follows three principles to avoid harming the patient:
- Use methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects;
- Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms;
- Acknowledge and respect the individual’s healing process, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat illness.
3. Tolle Causum: Find and treat the cause.
The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than eliminate or merely suppress symptoms.
4. Tolle Totum: Treat the whole person.
Naturopathic physicians treat each individual by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors. We will treat you as a unique, whole person. You will not be defined by your diagnosis.
5. Docere: Doctor as teacher.
Naturopathic physicians educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.
6. Praevenire: Prevention.
Naturopathic physicians emphasize disease prevention, assessment of risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease, and making appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine strives to create a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.
Wellness follows the establishment and maintenance of optimum health and balance. Wellness is a state of being healthy, characterized by positive emotion, thought and action. Wellness is inherent in everyone, regardless of disease(s).
If wellness is recognized and experienced by an individual, it will more quickly heal a given disease than direct treatment of the disease alone.