Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct form of healthcare which includes both modern and traditional medicine. While it is well understood that Naturopathic doctors primarily use natural therapies when treating patients, they also have a unique approach to healthcare. Naturopathic Doctors are trained as primary care physicians who focus on Wellness and Prevention.
Naturopathic doctors are guided in part by the Principles of Naturopathic Medicine (click for more information), which are reminders of their responsibilities to their patients.
The Healing Power of Nature
First, Do No Harm
Treat the Whole Person
Identify and Treat the Cause
Doctor as Teacher
Naturopathic doctors focus on how to help a person get well again. Most doctors focus on how to get rid of or stop an illness. While they can seem similar, there is a fundamental difference. One focuses on the person and the other focuses on the disease (person-centered vs. disease-centered care).
As a result, Naturopathic doctors spend more time thinking about the whole person and what factors in their life (physical, mental, emotional) are not allowing them to be well. The next step is then to determine the best ways of bringing wellness back. When disease or illness is the focus, which is sometimes medically necessary, treatment is based on what is best to treat the disease and maybe not what is best for the patient.
Our bodies are made to react to all of the insults life throws at us, so as to maintain proper health. However, in an environment full of insults such as work & family stress, air pollution, junk food, germs, etc. Many of our bodies have reached a limit and every new insult results in poorer health. Naturopathic doctors have both the responsibility of improving health (Wellness) and teaching patients what they can do to help their bodies manage all of these insults and remain well (Prevention).