Naturopathic doctors combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using treatments that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic doctors help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic doctors role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.
Naturopathic doctors work in private practices, hospitals, clinics and community health centers. NDs practice throughout the United States and Canada. Qualified naturopathic doctors undergo rigorous training before they become licensed health-care practitioners.
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care—an art, science, philosophy and practice of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illness. Naturopathic medicine is distinguished by the principles upon which its practice is based. These principles are continually reexamined in the light of scientific advances. The techniques of naturopathic medicine include modern and traditional, scientific and empirical methods. The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice.
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in the person which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic doctors 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 (ToIle Causam): The naturopathic doctor seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic doctors follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
- Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms;
- Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual’s self-healing process
Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic doctors educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. We also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic doctors treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic doctors encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
Prevention: Naturopathic doctors 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. Naturopathic medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.