WHAT IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?
It is an alternative type of health care that brings true health rather than just treating symptoms. Naturopathic care focuses on the bodys' natural healing attributes.
Each person responds in unique ways to his or her environment, each has individual strengths, weaknesses and needs. Their body’s reactions to the same stress may be very different depending on their level of health, inherited tendencies, previous medical history, etc. In treating the whole person the naturopathic practitioner searches for causes at many levels, and attempts to eliminate the fundamental cause of illness, not simply to remove symptoms.
Vis medicatrix naturae, or the healing power of nature, is the central tenet of Traditional Naturopathy. Bacteria and viruses, which are always present, seldom cause problems in a healthy body. Disease occurs when toxins that have accumulated internally (often due to incorrect lifestyle, a poor diet and improper care of the body) weaken a person. While conventional medical treatments may rid the body of symptoms, these treatments alone do not bring about true healing. Rather than trying to attack specific symptoms and diseases, Traditional Naturopaths offers a holistic approach to the individual that supports the body in finding its way back to homeostasis. Traditional Naturopaths focus on educating clients to lead healthier lives and on the use of naturopathic modalities.
Naturopathy is based on six tenets or principles:
- The healing power of nature
- Identify and treat the cause
- First do no harm
- Treat the whole person
- The physician as teacher
1. “The healing power of nature”
The healing power of nature has two aspects: first that the body has the ability to heal itself and it is the Naturopaths role to facilitate this natural process, and second that nature heals.
2. “Identify and treat the cause”The underlying root causes of disease must be removed for complete healing to take place. These root causes can exist at many levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It is the Naturopaths ostensible role to identify this root cause, which will alleviate suffering or symptoms.
3. “First do no Harm”The process of healing includes the manifestations of symptoms, so that any therapy that interferes with this natural healing process by masking symptoms is considered suppressive and should be avoided.
4. “Treat the whole person”A core tenet of naturopathy is the belief that health must go beyond treatment of immediate symptoms (as with medicine), and instead treat the entire person’s well being. That means treating the entire body, as well as the spirit/soul and mind.
5. “The physician as teacher”It is the role of the naturopath to educate an individual in their practices and encourage that individual to “take responsibility for their own health”. This cooperative relationship between the practitioner and client is essential to healing.
6. “Prevention”The ultimate goal of the naturopath is prevention. The emphasis is on building health, not fighting illness. This is done by fostering healthy lifestyles, healthy beliefs, and healthy relationships.