What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process.  The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods.

A Naturopathic Medical Doctor is trained to employ safe and effective natural therapies that will support and stimulate the healing power of nature in the gentlest, least invasive and most efficient manner possible. Naturopathic physicians use a range of methods to assist in the healing process including botanical medicine, acupuncture, physical manipulation, nutrition – diet and lifestyle recommendations, vitamins and minerals, flower essences, homeopathy and mind-body medicine.

The individual is viewed and treated in naturopathic medicine as a whole, composed of a complex interaction of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental and other factors. Thus patients suffering from everyday colds as well as some more serious, chronic conditions such as allergies may benefit from naturopathic treatment.

An initial appointment with a Naturopath will take between 1-2 hours in which your medical history and general lifestyle will be reviewed in order to determine a naturopathic treatment regimen suited to your individual needs. Diagnostic procedures such as physical exams, blood and urine analysis and other laboratory tests may be required in order to establish a treatment and health-promoting program. Naturopathic medicine is suitable for everyone.

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The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice:

The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): 
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.

Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam): 
The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.

First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere):
Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and
Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.

Doctor as Teacher (Docere): 
We educate our patients and encourage them to take responsibility for their health. To help develop “Your Prescription For Health” you have to be presented with all the options available so that together we can develope the best treatment plan for you.

Treat the Whole Person: 
Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, spiritual and other factors.

Prevention: 
Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.

Reference: American Association of Naturopathic Physicians