Naturopathic Medicine: Understanding Its Founding Principles
Naturopathic medicine or naturopathy involves traditional, modern, as well as empirical and scientific methods. It places emphasis on prevention, treatment, and optimum health by using therapeutic substances and methods to encourage the innate self-healing capabilities of patients.
Naturopathy’s primary objective is to prevent and treat illnesses and improve health via organic foods, regular exercise and a balanced lifestyle. It also integrates complementary medicine treatments including herbal therapies, homeopathy and Ayurveda, to name a few.
The Founding Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The following naturopathic medicine principles were developed by Hippocrates and were initially used in 400 BC by the Hippocratic School of Medicine.
• Nature’s Healing Power – Naturopathy recognises the innate, intelligent and ordered self-healing capacity of individuals. It acts to eliminate roadblocks to natural recovery and healing, and aids in easing and enhancing this innate self-healing ability.
• Determining and Treating Causes – Naturopathic medicine aims to determine and eliminate all underlying illness causes instead of just alleviating or relieving symptoms.
• Do No Harm – Naturopathic doctors abide by the three golden rules for treating patients. One, acknowledging, respecting and working with patients’ self-healing ability. Two, whenever applicable, avoid suppressing symptoms, and three, use medical methods and substances capable of minimising potential adverse effects, utilising minimum force for diagnosing and treatment.
• The Doctor as a Teacher – Naturopaths should also serve as teachers by striving to teach their patients and encourage accountability for their health. They also acknowledge and engage the therapeutic effects of doctor and patient relationships.
• Treating the Whole Person – Naturopathy aims to treat every patient by factoring in their unique physical, emotional, mental, environmental, genetic, gender and social requirements. Additionally, because naturopathy believes that total health involves optimal spiritual development, naturopathic doctors encourage their patients to hone their spiritual health.
• Prevention is Key – Naturopathic medicine emphasises disease prevention by evaluating specific risk factors, as well as vulnerability and heredity to diseases. This is done through the use of suitable interventions for preventing illnesses in collaboration with their patients.
Qualified naturopathic doctors undertake rigorous training and education prior to practicing naturopathy. Diploma courses, short courses, individual courses, as well as continuing education are offered through colleges such as the College of Naturopathic Medicine in Ireland.
Think this alternative medicine may work for you? Consult a naturopathic physician and see if you can benefit from the method.