What is Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine is a system of medicine that has been practiced in North America for over 125 years. Naturopathic medicine is a distinct form of primary health care built on a patient-centered approach that emphasizes prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that support the body’s natural ability to heal and help the patient achieve sustainable health and wellness.
Naturopathic medicine involves a functional medicine approach to healthcare, identifying the biochemical and physiological imbalances within the individual, and using natural, scientifically-proven solutions to rectify these imbalances. Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) focus on naturally occurring substances, minimally invasive methods, and the promotion of natural healing. They also emphasize illness prevention and a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Naturopathic Doctors focus not only on the symptoms but also the underlying conditions causing the symptoms. Naturopathic Doctors treat the root causes of disease and address preventable risk factors, using a wide range of science-and evidence-based, natural and conventional therapies.
An emphasis on disease prevention, nutritional advice, and natural health products are common practice amongst NDs. Underlying causes of disease are addressed with patients, not just symptoms. Educating patients on risk, considering contraindications / synergistic actions with drug and natural supplements, and encouraging self-responsibility for health are the foundation of the ND-patient relationship.
Patient care focused on wellness encompasses physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors.
Naturopathic assessment, diagnosis and treatment draws from a number of modalities (therapies) and is tailored to the individual. Treatments may include clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, physical treatments, acupuncture and Asian medicine, and lifestyle counselling.
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct form of primary health care. There are seven accredited schools of naturopathic medicine in North America.
Naturopathic medicine is based on the following principles:
- First do no harm
- The Healing power of nature
- Identification and treatment of the causes of disease
- The primary role of the doctor as the teacher
- Treatment of the whole person
- Disease prevention and health promotion
Naturopathic medicine is for people of all ages and health histories who want to take their health into their own hands. NDs are primary health care providers and are qualified to see and treat everyone.