What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the human body has an innate healing ability. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) teach their patients to use diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and cutting edge natural therapies to enhance their bodies’ ability to ward off and combat disease. Naturopathic physicians craft comprehensive treatment plans that blend the best of modern medical science and traditional natural medical approaches to not only treat disease, but to also restore health.
NDs base their practice on 6 principles :
- Let nature heal. By finding and removing the barriers to the body’s innate self-healing capabilities —such as eliminating poor diet or unhealthy habits—NDs can nurture this process.
- Identify and treat causes. NDs understand that symptoms will return unless the root cause is addressed.
- Do no harm.
- Use low-risk procedures and healing compounds—such as dietary supplements, herbal extracts and homeopathy—with few or no side effects.
- When possible, do not suppress the body’s efforts to self-heal. Example: the body may create fever in reaction to an infection. Fever creates an inhospitable environment for the harmful bacteria, thereby destroying it.
- We all heal in different ways so customizing each treatment plan is essential for health and healing.
- Educate patients. NDs teach their patients how to eat, exercise, relax and nurture themselves physically and emotionally. NDs encourage self-responsibility and collaborate closely with each patient.
- Treat the whole person. We each have a unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual makeup. NDs respect & include each aspect in a carefully tailored treatment strategy.
- Prevent illness. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very true! Proactive health care saves money, misery and lives. NDs evaluate risk factors, heredity, and vulnerability to disease.
From The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians at http://www.naturopathic.org
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