In recent years naturopathic medicine has attracted public attention because of its gentle and effective approach. It has been successfully used to treat a myriad of illnesses and conditions without the pain and side-effects. In addition, it has earned a prestigious position as a leader in preventative medicine and in the treatment of chronic illnesses.
The goal of the naturopathic approach is to treat conditions/illnesses as well as to improve general health and functional capacities. When used in conjunction with conventional treatments its goal is to improve effectiveness of the conventional therapies and to compensate for, or to reduce, their side-effects.
The body has a tremendous innate capacity to heal itself and to maintain health. The role of the naturopathic physician is to maximize the body’s capacity to do so.
Naturopathic medicine is defined by a set of principles that have been used by the world’s oldest and most wide-spread medical systems. The principles the doctor follows are:
- First, do no harm – the intent of naturopathic treatments is to achieve true cure and/or optimum health without introducing dependency on medications or treatment – caused illnesses or damage
- Nature cures – involves understanding the effect of the illness on the body and supporting the body’s innate effort to resolve the illness by natural treatments
- Identify and treat the causes – establishes a treatment protocol that would eliminate or at least reduce and compensate for the causes of the illness and build an environment conducive for the body and mind to heal
- Treat the whole person – treatments address a patient as a complete person and are not limited to correcting abnormal test values or masking the symptoms at the expense of health decline in the future
- The physician as a teacher – teaches the patient to make effective health promoting steps
- Prevention is the best cure – works with the patient to achieve and maintain optimal health as well as to prevent illness
Did you know…
Depending on state or provincial regulations, naturopathic physicians may be licensed to perform minor surgeries and prescribe conventional medications. This is why naturopathic physicians are often thought of as a bridge between natural and conventional medicine. They can safely and effectively treat those who prefer natural treatments as well as those who are concurrently treated conventionally.