medicine is a distinct profession of primary health care, emphasizing
prevention, treatment and the promotion of optimal health through the
use of therapeutic methods and modalities, which encourage the body’s
own self-healing process, the vis medicatrix naturæ. The philosophical
approach of naturopathic medicine includes prevention of disease, encouragement
of the body's inherent healing abilities, natural treatment of the whole
person, personal responsibility for one's health, and education of patients
in health-promoting lifestyles. Naturopathic practice blends centuries-old
knowledge of natural, nontoxic therapies with current advances in the
understanding of health and human systems.
diagnosis and therapeutics are supported by scientific research drawn
from peer-reviewed journals from many disciplines, including naturopathic
medicine, conventional medicine, European complementary medicine, clinical
nutrition, phytotherapy, pharmacognosy, homeopathy, psychology and spirituality.
Information technology and new concepts in clinical outcomes assessment
are particularly well suited to evaluating the effectiveness of naturopathic
treatment protocols and are being used in research, both at naturopathic
medical schools and in the offices of practicing physicians. Clinical
research into natural therapies has become an increasingly important focus
for naturopathic physicians.
The scope of practice
includes all aspects of family and primary care, from pediatrics to geriatrics,
and all natural medicine modalities.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
First Do No Harm Primum Non Nocere
Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine prefer non-invasive treatments, which
minimize the risks of harmful side effects. Like all general practitioners,
naturopathic doctors are trained to refer to specialists when necessary.
The Healing Power
of Nature Vis Medicatrix Naturae
The healing power of nature is the inherent healing process of living
systems, which establishes, maintains and restores health. Naturopathic
medicine recognizes the healing process to be ordered and intelligent.
It is the naturopathic doctor’s role to support, facilitate and
augment this process, to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery,
and to support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
Identify and Treat
the Causes Tolle Causam
Every illness has an underlying cause, often in aspects of the lifestyle,
diet or habits of the individual. Symptoms can be expressions of the body’s
attempt to heal itself, to defend, adapt and recover, or may be results
of the causes of dis-ease. The naturopathic doctor seeks to identify and
remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to eliminate or merely
Doctor as Teacher
The original meaning of the word “doctor” is teacher. A principle
objective of naturopathic medicine is to educate the patient and emphasize
self-responsibility for health. Naturopathic doctors also recognize and
acknowledge the therapeutic value of the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole
Naturopathic doctors recognize that an individual is comprised of a multitude
of facets; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, and it is by addressing
all of these aspects that healing on the deepest level is able to occur.
Naturopathic doctors emphasize disease prevention, assessment of risk
factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and recommend 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, no matter
what dis-ease(s) is/are being experienced. If wellness is really recognized
and experienced by an individual, it will more quickly heal a given dis-ease
than direct treatment of the disease alone.