Naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine that promotes and encourages health and vitality by identifying the health expression of each patient and investigating the underlying causes and then utilising natural medicines including herbal medicines, nutritional medicine, dietary intervention and lifestyle changes to restore his or her physiological, psychological, and structural balance.
Naturopathic clinicians utilise 6 principles when treating their patients:
- First do no harm:A naturopathic treatment protocol uses therapies that are gentle, non-invasive, effective, and do not have adverse side effects.
- The healing power of nature:The body has an innate ability to heal itself. Naturopathic clinicians encourage our own healing processes using natural and non-toxic medicin.
- Identify and treat the cause:Naturopathic clinicians treat the underlying causes of conditions rather than just the symptoms of disease.
- Doctor as teacher:The Latin root of doctor is docere, which means “to teach.” The primary role of naturopathic clinicians is educating, empowering, and motivating patients to assume more personal responsibility for their health by adopting a healthy attitude, lifestyle, and diet. Thomas Edison once said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest patients in the maintenance of the human frame, in diet, and in the prevention of disease.” It is more effective to teach than treat patients.
- Treat the whole person:Naturopathic clinicians identify specific weaknesses or dysfunctions in their patients and tailor treatment based upon the patient’s individual presentation. It is the patient that is in need of treatment, not the disease state or symptom. William Osler, MD, once said, “It is more important to know what sort of patient has a disease rather than what sort of disease a patient has.”
- Prevention:It is far easier and cheaper to prevent a disease than to treat a disease. Naturopathic clinicians evaluate both subjective and objective information necessary to uncover potential susceptibilities to future disease states in their patients. They can discuss specific lifestyle strategies or nutritional supplementation as a means for disease prevention.
How can naturopathic medicine benefit you?
Naturopaths are often successful at treating chronic conditions or unidentifiable illnesses that don’t respond to conventional medicine. Conditions may include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Digestive conditions: IBS, Crohn’s disease, leaky gut, dysbiosis, unexplained digestive discomfort.
- Hormonal dysregulation
- Weight management
- Skin health
- Behavioural issues
- Autism and ADHD
Naturopaths will develop a comprehensive treatment plan that will bring back health to the patient using herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, dietary intervention and lifestyle.
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