What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathic medicine provides holistic, or whole body healthcare by taking advantage of resources drawn from numerous traditional healing systems. Dating back to the early part of the 20th century, naturopathy is organized around three fundamental principles: The physician should strive to aid the body’s natural healing abilities; the root cause of an illness should be addressed rather than its symptoms; and above all, only therapies that cause no harm should be used (which means that toxic drugs and surgery are avoided whenever possible).
A naturopathic doctor, or ND, may pay considerable attention to a patient’s lifestyle, since naturopathic theory holds that physical, psychological, and even spiritual elements can all contribute to disease. In treating patients the naturopathic practitioner may use a number of alternative therapies, including homeopathy, herbal remedies, traditional Chinese medicine, spinal manipulation, nutrition, hydrotherapy, massage and exercise.
Doctors of naturopathy train at accredited four year naturopathic medical schools. The first two years include many of the same core science classes as regular medical schools, while the final two years focus on training in natural healing techniques. At present, naturopathic doctors are licensed to practice in nine states; most other states allow them to practice in limited ways. Many private insurance plans cover naturopathic care.
The Medical Advisor: The complete guide to alternative and conventional treatments by the editors of time life books, Alexandria, Virginia 1996, p. 28
Naturopathic Medical Philosophy is based upon the following tenets:
Vis Medicatrix Naturae — The Healing Power of Nature
Naturopathic Doctors believe that the body has the innate ability to heal itself. By removing obstacles to good health the bodies vital force knows implicitly how to return to health.
Primum Non Nocere — First, Do No Harm
The first rule of medicine is to do no harm. I believe that side effects are an example of harm, and so I use pharmaceutical drugs only when absolutely necessary. Natural remedies are used whenever possible to support the body in its process gently and effectively.
Tolle Causum — Find and Treat the Cause
True healing can only come when the cause of disease is treated. We use extensive testing to determine the cause, and then treat it naturally. In this day and age, finding the cause can be difficult, and often goes beyond blood tests and x-rays.
Tolle Totum — Treat the Whole Person
The human organism is made up of mind, body, spirit and emotions. It is our philosophy that a client must have balance in all areas for ultimate health. In addition, we do not look at the body in pieces, all symptoms are related, and you will be treated as a whole.
Prevenir — Prevent Disease
Prevention is the best medicine. We use education, [ cant read handwriting] and natural therapies, so disease is less likely to show up in your future.
Docere — Physician as Teacher
The word doctor comes from the Latin docere, meaning to teach. It is our belief at The Natural Path, that educating people about their health is the most important step to preventing and healing disease.