Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care-an art, science and practice of preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions of the human mind and body.
Naturopathic physicians follow these principles in practice:
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in the person which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
Identify and Treat the Causes (ToIle Causam): The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat
- Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms
- Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual's self-healing process.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
Prevention: Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease -assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.
Naturopathic physicians work with their patients to prevent and treat acute and chronic illness and disease, restore health and establish optimal fitness by supporting the person's inherent self-healing process, the vis medicatrix naturae. This is accomplished through:
Prevention of disease is emphasized through public health measures and hygiene as well as the encouragement and guidance of persons to adopt lifestyles which are conducive to optimal health.
Today’s main stream model of medicine does not address prevention in the way that it should. Blood work is not always properly analyzed, preventative measures are not always recommended or taken and diagnoses are missed or understated until a trial of medication is the stated as the only resort.
Diagnosis and evaluation of the individual's state of health are accomplished by integrated modern and traditional, clinical and laboratory diagnostic methods. Much lab work is similar to what an MD/DO might order, but the results are viewed slightly differently, attempting to address potential issues before they become health problems. There are also more specialized tests including adrenal stress testing, food sensitivity testing, neurotransmitters and vitamins/mineral profiles that are ordered to assist in identifying or preventing health issues before they arise.
Treatment and Care
Therapeutic methods and substances are used which work in harmony with the person's inherent self -help process, the vis medicatrix naturae, including: dietetics and nutritional substances, botanical medicine, psychotherapy, naturopathic physical medicine including naturopathic manipulative therapy, minor surgery, prescription medications, naturopathic obstetrics (natural childbirth), homeopathy, and acupuncture.
Here in Illinois, minor surgical procedures and prescription medications cannot be practiced/utilized.