Naturopathic medicine is a primary healthcare profession that focuses on prevention and uses natural methods. It is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using natural therapies and gentle techniques.
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are general practitioners of natural health care and employ a wide range of therapies to create a preventative, restorative and individualized approach to health care. These therapies include detoxification, clinical nutrition, botanical (herbal) medicine,
acupuncture and Asian medicine, homeopathic medicine, physical treatments, lifestyle assessment and counseling. NDs are specialists in preventive health care, integrating scientific knowledge with traditional healing wisdom.
The Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy - Naturopathy (BDDT-N), aka the licensing board of NDs in Ontario, do not allow NDs to promote specializations. However, I state that the types of cases I see at my practices are as follows: cancer 25%, fertility and pregnancy 25%, mesotherapy 25% and general medicine 25%.
The following tenets govern the practice of naturopathic medicine:
- First, do no harm ( Primum non nocere ) Use methods and medicines that minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat. Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppressing of symptoms.
Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual's self-healing process.
- Identify and treat the causes ( Tolle causam )
The naturopathic doctor seeks to identify and to remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
- Doctor as teacher ( Docere )
Naturopathic doctors share information and knowledge with their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health.
- Treat the whole person
Naturopathic doctors treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors.
- Emphasize prevention
Naturopathic doctors emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
- Support the healing power of the body (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 increase this inherent self-healing process.