Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) focus on creating ultimate health through the use of natural therapeutics, holistic medicine and Naturopathic Medicine. Using approaches that are non-toxic to the system, naturopathic doctors act as holistic nutritionists. They approach each person as an individual and seek to address the cause of imbalance rather than to cover up symptoms. Holistic medicine uses age-old healing methods that are combined with cutting edge advances in functional and integrative medicine to create an environment that supports optimal healing from the best of both the conventional and holistic fields of medicine.
Naturopathic Doctors complete four years of medical school and, during their initial two years of schooling, are trained in the basic sciences similarly to traditional medical doctors. The final two years of naturopathic school are dedicated to studying and practicing natural therapeutics in a clinical setting. After graduating, naturopathic doctors’ scope of practice include all aspects of family and primary care from pediatrics to geriatrics, as well as a full range of natural modalities.
Six principles guide the philosophy and methodology of naturopathic doctors:
Do No Harm [primum non nocere] Naturopathic medicine uses therapies that are safe and effective.
The Healing Power of Nature [vis medicatrix naturae] The human body possesses the inherent ability to restore health. The physician’s role is to facilitate this process with the aid of natural, nontoxic therapies.
Discover and Treat the Cause, Not Just the Effect [tolle causam] Physicians seek and treat the underlying cause of a disease. Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body’s natural attempt to heal. The origin of disease is removed or treated so the patient can recover.
Treat the Whole Person [tolle totum] The multiple factors in health and disease are considered while treating the whole person. Physicians provide flexible treatment programs to meet individual health care needs.
The Physician is a Teacher [docere] The physician’s major role is to educate, empower, and motivate patients to take responsibility for their own health. Creating a healthy cooperative relationship with the patient has a strong therapeutic value.
Prevention is the best “cure” Naturopathic physicians are preventive medicine specialists. Physicians assess patient risk factors and heredity susceptibility and intervene appropriately to reduce risk and prevent illness. Prevention of disease is best accomplished through education and a lifestyle that supports health.