Naturopathic medicine is a practice that focuses on total body health and preventative care. Doctors are meant to help you get healthy and stay healthy! Naturopathy credits the body with an innate ability to heal and views symptoms as warning signs that the body is out of balance. Because the body has its own ability to heal, naturopathic medicine supports the body’s natural processes instead of suppressing symptoms. One of the first naturopaths, Henry Lindlahr, said “people are beginning to realize that it’s cheaper and more advantageous to prevent disease rather than cure it.”
While naturopathic medicine is extremely popular on the East and West coasts of the United States and in other countries, I know the concept can be unfamiliar to many. There are 6 driving principles of naturopathic medicine, and if you understand these, you are well on your way to understanding naturopathy.
Principle #1: Healing Power of Nature: Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself
Principle #2: Identify and Treat the Cause: NDs look beyond symptoms to treat the root cause of disease and bring the body to optimal health
Principle #3: First Do No Harm: A binding law among all medical doctors to use the least force necessary for diagnosis and treatment and minimize harmful side effects
Principle #4: Doctor As Teacher: Collaborate with patients to create a successful treatment plan and share knowledge about how to get and stay healthy
Principle #5: Treat the Whole Person: Look at the whole picture including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental, genetic, and social factors that contribute to overall health
Principle #6: Prevention: Prevent disease by assessing risk factors and susceptibility. Over 75% of America’s health care costs are used on treating preventable chronic illness.
“Those who do not find time every day for health must sacrifice a lot of time one day for illness” -- Sebastian Kniepp
To practice naturopathic medicine, one must have graduated from an accredited naturopathic medical school and passed licensing boards. Naturopathic doctors are licensed, board-certified medical practitioners and have at least 4 years of doctoral-level biochemical and clinical training. If you are seeking naturopathic care please ensure that you are seeing a real naturopathic physician. Here is an example of training at an accredited naturopathic school versus conventional medical school versus non-accredited natural medicine school.
If you have any questions about how naturopathic medicine may be helpful for you, please feel free to reach out!