Naturopathic Medicine is a medical science that focuses on natural healing. Naturopathic Physicians have the same training as conventional Medical Doctors (please see comparison chart
), but specialize in Counseling, Botanicals, Homeopathy, Physical Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (please see Naturopathic curriculum
for further information). Naturopathic Physicians treat the whole person and focus on preventative health. Naturopathic medicine is based on 7 Principles.
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent ability in the body which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to facilitate and augment our bodies' own healing ability.
Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)
The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to eliminate or merely suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic medicine follows three principles to avoid harming the patient:
- utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects;
- avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms;
- acknowledge and respect the individual's healing process, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat illness.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
Naturopathic physicians educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic physicians treat each individual by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual path.
Naturopathic physicians emphasize disease prevention, assessment of risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and make appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine strives to create a healthy world in which humanity and the natural world may thrive together.
Wellness follows the establishment and maintenance of optimum health and balance. Wellness is a state of being healthy, characterized by positive emotion, thought and action. Wellness is inherent in everyone, no matter what dis-ease(s) is/are being experienced. (This principle was adopted by Bastyr University and added to the six principles.)