What is Naturopathic Medicine?
NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE is a distinct system of primary health care – an art, science, and philosophy; practice of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illness. Naturopathic medicine is distinguished by the principles upon which its practice is based. These principles are continually reexamined in the light of scientific advances. Methods used are consistent with these principles and are chosen upon the basis of patient individuality. Naturopathic doctors are trained as primary health care physicians whose diverse techniques include modern and traditional as well as (and in partnership with) scientific and empirical methods.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE TREAT?
Naturopathic Medicine can treat almost any condition, and serve as adjunctive therapy otherwise. The most common reasons that people receive Naturopathic care are listed below:
|Cancer||Celiac Disease||Chemical Sensitivities|
|Diabetes||Ear Infections||Fatigue (Low Energy)|
|Fibromyalgia||Colds and Flu||High Blood Pressure|
|Hormone Replacement||Irritable Bowel||Infertility|
|Musculoskeletal Pain||Osteoarthritis||Pediatric Care|
|Pre and Postnatal Care||Rheumatoid Arthritis||Skin Disorders|
|Thyroid Dysfunction||Weight Loss||Wellness (optimization of)|
PRINCIPLES OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE
The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice:
THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE (vis medicatrix naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in the person which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic doctors act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
IDENTIFY AND TREAT THE CAUSES (tolle causam): The naturopathic doctor seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
FIRST DO NO HARM (primum no nocere): Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
- Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms;
- Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual’s self-healing process.
DOCTOR AS TEACHER (docere): Naturopathic doctors educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON (in perturbato animo sicut in corpore sanitas esse non potest): Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
PREVENTION (principiis obsta: sero medicina curatur): Naturopathic doctors emphasize the prevention of disease – assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.
Naturopathic Doctors (N.D.) are licensed and board certified as primary care physicians in the state of Utah. Naturopathic Physicians must complete an intensive four-year Doctorate program from an accredited Naturopathic medical school in North America. The curriculum in this four-year graduate training consists of comprehensive study of the conventional medical sciences, including: anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, gastroenterology, endocrinology and gynecology.
In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the Naturopathic Doctor is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, physical medicine, psychology, and counseling.