Saturday, June 7, 2008

Principles of Naturopathy

Naturopathic medicine is dedicated to the study of nature’s healing powers. It is as old as healing itself and as new as today’s medical breakthroughs. It is a dynamic philosophy as well as a profession that recognizes the interconnection and interdependence of all living things. It utilizes the most natural, least invasive therapies to treat illness and to promote wellness by viewing the body as an integrated whole.

Naturopathic medicine is defined by principles rather than by methods or modalities. Above all, it honors the body’s innate wisdom to heal. Naturopathic physicians practice the six fundamental principles of naturopathic medicine:

The Healing Power of Nature
Vis Mediatrix Naturae

Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself. Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in the person that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians 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

Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause. The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather that to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.

First Do No Harm
Primum No Nocere

Utilize the most natural and least invasive therapies. Naturopathic physicians follow three precepts to avoid harming the patient:
. Utilize methods and medical substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat.
. Avoid the harmful suppression of symptoms.
. Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual’s self-healing process.

Doctor as Teacher
Docere

Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health. The Original meaning of the word 'Doctor' is teacher. Naturopathic physicians 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
Tolle Totum

Health and Disease are conditions of whole organism, a WHOLE involving the complex interaction of many factors. Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. This requires a comprehensive approach to Diagnosis and Treatment.

Prevention

Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention. Naturopathic physicians 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.
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