WHAT IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?
Naturopathic Medicine is a primary health care profession rooted in lifestyle medicine and disease prevention. As a Naturopathic Physician, we are trained to be your primary care provider or adjunct to your health care team, in which the scope of an ND includes the ability to assess and diagnose conditions, prescribe most medications, and provide referrals for imaging or to other health care providers when deemed necessary.
Through the “Principles” and “Therapeutic Order” of Naturopathic Medicine, we are able to provide individualized evidence-informed therapies that balance the least harmful and most effective approaches to help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health.
PRINCIPLES OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE
FIRST, DO NO HARM
Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies. By matching the intensity of treatment with the severity of disease, we may limit the risk of over-treatment while also not neglecting symptoms that contribute to patient suffering. In effect, we are supporting the body's natural processes towards health.
IDENTIFY AND TREAT THE CAUSES
A collection of symptoms is merely a window into the true cause of disease. When we can use these as useful guides rather than covering them up, we can finally discover and treat the root cause.
TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON
View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions. Health of an individual extends outside of one's self, in which we must also take into account social and environmental factors that play vital roles in self-healing.
THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE
The human body is inherently intelligent, and has the ability of self-healing. This is evidenced by continual physical and physiological compensation when disease becomes deeper rooted, in which the body continues functioning as optimally as it can given the current circumstances. True healing can occur if we can recognize this and support this process, thereby providing an environment of self-healing
THE PHYSICIAN AS TEACHER
“If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eat for a lifetime.” We strive in educating patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health. This way, they are able to take an active role in their well-being, and shore on the same knowledge to help their families and communities to do so as well.
Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention. This includes recognizing risk factors, genetic trends, and patterns of disease progression so that we can make better decisions to prevent illness now and have a positive influence on one's health in the future.
THE NATUROPATHIC THERAPEUTIC ORDER
Naturopathic Medicine sets itself apart from conventional medicine by using the Therapeutic Order to map out and guide patient-centered treatment. The basis for this model is the body's inherent ability to heal itself, in which the therapies we use affect this process in some way. Starting from the bottom, we begin by addressing the foundations of health and/or removing obstacles to cure (e.g., food, sleep, safety in one's environment, smoking status, etc). From here, we work our way up to more "invasive" measures that deal less with supporting the body's process it heal itself and more towards controlling unfavorable symptoms (e.g., neuropathic pain in diabetes, fluid retention in chronic kidney disease, etc).
In a Naturopathic visit, it is very common to address multiple levels on the Therapeutic Order, which serves to maximize patient benefit and reduce the potential for damage or harm. The initial goal is to provide a treatment suited for the patient at that point in time, while keeping in mind that as the patient improves, their treatment plan will become more focused towards the bottom of the Therapeutic Order.