Naturopathy is a holistic system, concerned with the whole person, rather than just focusing on the problems/symptoms afflicting the various organs and systems. Though diagnostically naturopathy is a lot like conventional medicine, it differs in the types of treatment used. Naturopathic physicians do not use drugs, medical technology, or major surgery to treat a patient. Instead, they use natural therapeutics such as nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, homeopathy, and acupuncture.
Naturopathy is a medical system that focuses on the body’s intrinsic ability to heal and maintain itself, using the natural healing power of the body to fight disease. The Naturopathic practitioner recognizes and uses the fact that the body is a self-healing organism with the understanding that if the right environment and opportunity for self-healing can be created, recovery and well-being will result, while at the same time preventing ill-health
According to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, “Naturopathic medicine is defined by principles rather than by methods or modalities. Above all, it honors the body’s innate wisdom to heal.”
The Naturopathic physician uses standard/conventional diagnostic methods such as; x-rays, laboratory tests, and medical exams, etc.
Naturopathic therapies may include:
- use of botanical medicine
- nutritional changes
- manipulative therapy
- oriental medicine (herbal, massage, etc)
The ideology of Naturopathic Medicine focuses on the use of naturally-occurring substances, minimally-invasive methods, and encouragement of natural healing. Prevention of ill-health through stress reduction, a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle is emphasized, with the use of pharmaceutical drugs, ionizing radiation, and invasive surgery are generally reduced. The philosophy is made up of six core values. Many versions of these but exist but, generally, follow these principles:
- First, do no harm; provide the most effective health care available with the least risk to patients at all times.
- Recognize, respect and promote the self-healing power of nature inherent in each individual human being.
- Identify and remove the causes of illness, rather than eliminate or suppress symptoms.
- Educate, inspire rational hope and encourage self-responsibility for health.
- Treat each person by considering all individual health factors and influences.
Emphasize the condition of health to promote well-being and to prevent diseases for the individual, each community and our world