DEFINITION OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE
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 re-examined in the light of scientific advances. The techniques of naturopathic medicine include modern, traditional, scientific and empirical methods.
Naturopathic medical students attend a four-year, graduate-level accredited medical school, after which they must pass North American board examinations to obtain a license to practice medicine. Comprehensively trained in the science of natural healthcare, the naturopathic doctor develops specially honed skills in conventional and natural medicine, creating a knowledge base to support patients in making informed choices about their health. Integrative partnerships between conventional medical doctors and licensed NDs are becoming widespread. This cooperative method accommodates more effective therapies that treat the body system from several angles. Adding naturopathic medicine as a synergistic addition to western treatments is defining a new wave of healing. Naturopathic doctors are experts in the use of drug-nutrient and drug-herb interactions. They practice in a wide range of in-patient and out-patient settings, such as Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Frequently they are consulted as expert advisors in the field of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. At the national level, they play prominent roles in organizations like the White House Commission on CAM, the advisory board for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee. Licensing laws for naturopathic doctors exist in 14 states, the District of Columbia, and the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Naturopathic Medicine: How It Works
Naturopathic doctors are guided in their treatment decisions by the idea that it is the nature of all things to return to balance; it is the nature of organisms: plants, animals, and people to heal. The naturopathic doctor understands illness as a series of events that can be changed, or redirected towards this dependable natural order and balance, with help. The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice:
The Principles That Guide Naturopathic Medicine
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix naturae): There aren’t many words in Western medicine for the inner wisdom that guides internal physical processes that lead to health and wellness. Naturopathic medicine calls this internal wisdom the healing power of nature, in Latin: the vis medicatrix naturae. Naturopathic medicine recognizes that this inherent self-healing process in the person 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 (Tolle Causam): When confronted with illness, the Naturopathic Doctor looks for what in the patient’s life is most out of balance. The doctor works with a patient to discern the underlying cause of the problem. In order to identify and remove the underlying cause of the illness (tolle causum), the naturopathic Doctor must treat the whole system rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic Doctors understand that treatments used should never further damage the ill person, whenever possible. This is expressed as primum non nocere, or the promise to first try the treatments that offer maximal help with minimal harm. 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 individuals self-healing process.
Doctor As Teacher (Docere): To assist in ridding the client of harm from insults and stresses, the doctor becomes a teacher (docere), offering information that allows them to be a partner in recovery. Naturopathic Doctors 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: 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: Working in a partnership with a Naturopathic Doctor helps each patient develop routines and behaviors that breed health and balance in the future -when efforts at prevention become the focus of their doctor and patient relationship. 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. Naturopathic medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.
At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design a naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how a naturopathic treatment program can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or Click Here to schedule an online appointment.