WHAT IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?
Naturopatic Doctors are licensed as primary care doctors in the State of California. NDs practice as independent primary care general practitioners, with the ability to diagnose and treat medical conditions, perform physical exams, and order laboratory testing. Many health care consumers specifically choose NDs as their primary care providers. Naturopathic medicine blends centuries-old natural, non-toxic therapies with current advances in the health and human systems, covering all aspects of family health from prenatal to geriatric care. Naturopathic medicine concentrates on whole-patient wellness; the medicine is tailored to the patient and emphasizes prevention and self-care. Naturopathic medicine attempts to find the underlying cause of the patient’s condition rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment. Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all other branches of medical science, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.
The 6 Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
1. Vis Medicatrix Naturae: The Healing Power of Nature. Our bodies have such a powerful, innate instinct for self-healing. By finding and removing the barriers to this self-healing—such as poor diet or unhealthy habits—naturopathic physicians can nurture this process.
2. Tolle Causam: Identify and treat causes. Naturopathic physicians understand that symptoms will only return unless the root illness is addressed. Rather than cover up symptoms, they seek to find and treat the cause of these symptoms.
3. Primum Non Nocere: First, do no harm. Naturopathic physicians follow three precepts to ensure their patients’ safety:
4. Docere: Doctor as Teacher. Naturopathic medicine believes that doctors must be educators, as well as physicians. That’s why naturopathic physicians teach their patients how to eat, exercise, relax and nurture themselves physically and emotionally. They also encourage self-responsibility and work closely with each patient.
5. Tolle Totum: Treat the whole person. We each have a unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual makeup. The naturopathic physician knows that all these factors affect our health. That’s why he or she includes them in a carefully tailored treatment strategy.
6. Principiis Obsta: Sero Medicina Curatui: Prevent illness. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been truer. Proactive medicine saves money, pain, misery and lives. That’s why naturopathic physicians evaluate risk factors, heredity and vulnerability to disease. By getting treatment for greater wellness, we’re less likely to need treatment for future illness.
Reference: American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)
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