What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of holistic natural primary health care: an art, science, philosophy and practice of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illness. It is healing the way nature intended, based on the following fundamental principles:
- Vis Medicatrix Naturae: Each person has a vitality that will help them heal naturally. Nature cures; and the physician’s highest calling is to foster the curative properties of nature that lie within each person.
- Tolle Causam: Treat the cause of disease by removing the obstacles to cure. Naturopathic physicians are trained to seek and address the root of illness, rather than masking symptoms.
- Treat the individual: Each person is unique in their manifestation of health and disease. So, treat each individual rather than giving the same generic prescription to everyone.
- Holistic approach: Treat the person as a whole being, not just the total sum of body parts. The most effective treatments address the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual spheres as they manifest together in each individual.
- Prevention: While optimizing health today, naturopathic physicians also look ahead to prevent future illness and recurrence of illness. This can be accomplished through careful attention to symptoms and the patient’s family history, thorough review of laboratory findings, and proper examination of the individual’s physical, mental and emotional health.
- Primum non nocere: First do no harm. Naturopathic physicians strive to use the least invasive treatments with the fewest side effects: nutrients, foods, herbs, homeopathic remedies, hands-on bodywork, counseling, therapeutic exercise, and the like.
- Docere: “Doctor” in Latin literally means teacher. Offering guidance and education to others empowers them to make healthier life choices, and to empower each person to take control of his or her own health.