WHAT IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?
Naturopathic physicians are general practitioners trained as specialists in natural medicine. They are educated and pass board exams in the conventional medical sciences in addition to nutrition, counseling, botanical medicine, physical medicine, homeopathy, exercise therapy, and hydrotherapy. They tailor these tools to the needs of each patient. Naturopathy is effective in treating a great many health problems, whether acute or chronic. Naturopathic doctors refer to providers in other branches of medicine including medical doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, physical therapists, and massage therapists. In Washington State naturopaths may be primary care providers, although they do not currently have hospital privileges.
There are principles of naturopathic medicine that unite our profession. These principles are the foundation that naturopathic medical practice is built on:
Utilize the Healing Power of Nature
Restore and support the innate healing process of the body by identifying and removing obstacles to health and recovery.
Find the Cause
Find and remove the underlying cause of disease, rather than mask the symptoms of illness.
First Do No Harm
Use methods and medicine that minimize the risk of harmful side effects.
Treat the Whole Person
Health or disease is a complex interaction of mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, dietary, genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors.
Practice Preventative Medicine
Prevent minor illnesses from becoming more serious problems down the road using education about the effects of lifestyle choices and medications.
Wellness is inherent in everyone no matter what diseases are being experienced. Recognizing and experiencing wellness has a therapeutic effect.
Doctor as Teacher
A principle objective of naturopathic medicine is to educate patients and emphasize self-responsibility.