Naturopathic Medicine is a holistic way of providing healthcare. What does this mean? A holistic way of treating health concerns aims to identify the root causes of the symptoms to restore health. The goal is restoration of health and long-term wellness.
The naturopathic philosophy is based on the understanding that the individual is unique, complex, and that symptoms are indicators of disharmony in the body and/or mind. This imbalance can be due to many factors including diet, fitness, environment, and genetic, amongst many others.
First do no harm (Primum Non Nocere)
This includes using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat, while minimizing any risks or side effects with the most appropriate methods/medicine.
The healing power of nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
This is the recognition of the body's inherent ability to heal, given the right conditions. This is made possible by removing the obstacles to healing and supporting the self-healing process.
Identify and treat the cause (Tolle Causam)
Treating the cause involves recognizing the root of imbalance and correcting it as opposed to suppressing symptoms.
Treat the whole person (Tolle Totum)
Symptoms stem from imbalances unique to the individual. These imbalances are rooted physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, genetically, environmentally, socially, and other levels. Naturopathic doctors aim to help the patient integrate and understand the whole picture of their health concerns, and origins of them, to promote healing.
The physician as teacher (Docere)
Naturopathic doctors empower their patients through education and understanding of their health and causes of their disease. The patient is encouraged to be proactive in the healing process. The doctor facilitates the healing process, but ultimately, the patient assumes full responsibility for their health.
Naturopathic medicine is committed to both creating and sustaining optimal health. Disease prevention is promoted through addressing the factors mentioned above in "Treat the Whole Person." Despite the many factors present in modern life that can contribute to diseases, the vast knowledge understood by naturopathic doctors, can help you thrive.
Naturopathic Training and Education
Naturopathic medical schools consists of four years of training in basic medical sciences, similar to traditional medical school, and also includes the main modalities of treatment such as: nutrition, homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Botanical medicine, chiropractic manipulation, psychology, hydrotherapy, and lifestyle counseling. Pharmacology, minor surgery, and IV therapeutics are also part of the naturopathic training. In addition, there is an 8-month, part-time clinic internship and a one year, supervised, full-time clinical internship. There are also two rigorous board examinations required for licensure in accredited states.
For the most up-to-date information on accredited schools and naturopathic training, visit www.aanmc.org.