The human body is quite remarkable and possesses an amazing ability to heal itself. Naturopathy / naturopathic medicine is a system that utilizes natural remedies to promote the body’s self-healing mechanism. It combines traditional practices and modern science to emphasize the use of natural therapies as a way to promote overall good health and to prevent and treat illness. 2400 years ago, a Greek physician named Hippocrates formulated a concept called “the healing power of nature” and it has made a large impact on medicine around the world. Many of the original principles and philosophies of naturopathy originated in Germany and Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Naturopathic medicine’s North American origins can be linked to Dr. Benedict Lust who founded The American School of Naturopathy.
Naturopathic medicine is often used in combination with conventional medicine to help promote the healing process. It is practiced in over eighty countries and statutory regulation currently exists in North America, Latin America, Europe, and India. NDs often work in collaboration with other healthcare practitioners and are able to refer their patients for emergencies when necessary. NDs most frequently use natural healing approaches but are also trained to perform minor procedures like cyst removal and suturing. They treat a wide range of chronic conditions including allergies, headaches, menopause, diabetes, skin conditions, digestive issues, obesity, and more.
Naturopathy uses natural therapies such as: herbal medicine, homeopathy, fasting, exercise, and nutrition. It follows principles that are used to develop plans for treatment and promote long-term wellness.
There are six main principles that define naturopathic medicine:
Utilize the least invasive and toxic therapies and choose the most natural treatments. Use minimal force to diagnose and treat illness by being cognizant of the healing process of each individual.
Recognize and trust the body’s ability to heal itself, with a goal of working to restore and support it. Prevent further disease by removing obstacles that may arise during recovery in order to support and enable self-healing capabilities.
Determine and administer assistance for the underlying cause rather than managing or suppressing symptoms. The goal of naturopathy is to heal the root cause of illness, symptoms are considered to be expressions from the body as it attempts to heal naturally.
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) assess physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, lifestyle and other additional factors and symptoms when determining necessary treatment. This is a holistic approach that recognizes the body and it’s physical and spiritual aspects as an integrated whole.
The job of NDs involves empowering their patients to take control and accept responsibility for their own health. They ensure that patients have a full understanding of health and illness, the factors that affect it, and provide insight on how to balance and maintain overall wellness. They acknowledge the therapeutic value that is deep-rooted in the relationship with their patients.
Promote and focus on overall health, wellness, and disease prevention.