What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct system of primary health care that seeks to restore health and vitality by identifying and correcting the underlying causes of disease. We recognize that the human body has complex and elegant mechanisms designed to maintain and restore health. Illness results when these mechanisms are disturbed or overwhelmed and the body can no longer maintain balance. Rather than simply masking symptoms, naturopathic medicine seeks to identify and correct the underlying causes of illness and thus facilitate a return to health.
Therapies commonly used by Naturopathic Doctors include diet and nutritional therapies, herbal medicine, homeopathy, hands on manual therapies, hydrotherapy and health and lifestyle counseling. NDs can write prescriptions for some pharmaceuticals, including bio-identical hormones, but use them sparingly as equal or better results can usually be achieved with natural therapies. We also order lab tests and imaging studies when needed and refer to specialists when appropriate.
Naturopathic medical diagnosis and treatment are based on six guiding principles:
First, Do No Harm
We use therapies that are as conservative and gentle as possible while still being effective. As a result, the use of drugs and surgery can often be avoided. Most of our therapies have no “side effects”. In fact, because our therapies support the restoration of health, many of them have “side benefits” such as improved energy, or more restful sleep.
Identify and Treat the Cause
We do not take symptoms at face value. We seek to understand and treat the underlying factors that result in a patient’s symptoms. By treating the cause of disease we can help patients to achieve a new state of health rather than simply controlling their symptoms.
The Healing Power of Nature
The body demonstrates a remarkable ability to heal and maintain health. We believe that the doctor’s role is to support and optimize this innate capacity.
Treat the Whole Person
Not only are symptoms in one body system often related to less obvious imbalances in other body systems, but emotional and psychological stresses can impact health as well and affect the body’s ability to heal. We take all potential causes of a patient’s condition into consideration and make appropriate recommendations.
Doctor as Teacher
We do more than just treat disease. We help our patients understand the processes that led to their illness, and educate them about what will help them to stay healthy long after they have completed treatment with us.
Naturopathic doctors assess potential future health risks and educate patients on how to optimize health and reduce risks of future illness
For further information on naturopathic medicine and naturopathic medical education please see the following links: