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What is a Naturopathic Doctor March 14, 2010

Posted by Dreamhealer in naturopathic.
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Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. Naturopathic medicine is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and lifestyle counseling.

Naturopathic doctors are trained as primary care practitioners and they can also complement and enhance health care services provided by other health care professionals. They cooperate with other branches of medical science referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate. Naturopathic Doctors provide patients with a truly integrative form of health care.

The practice of naturopathic medicine is based on 6 principles:

  1. The Healing Power of Nature: The body is a self-regulating and self-healing organism. It is a naturopathic doctors job to guide the patient in removing any obstacles to this healing process and to choose therapies that gently support and stimulate normal function.
  2. Remove the Cause: Just as a finger with a splinter in it can never heal properly until the splinter is removed, a person cannot regain their health until the cause if the illness is removed. Causes can range from nutrient deficiencies to improper food selection to lack of activity to stress (physical, mental and emotional-based).
  3. First, Do No Harm: Naturopathic Doctors use gentle but effective treatments that minimize the chance of side-effects.
  4. The Doctor as Teacher: The word doctor comes from the latin word Docere, which means “to teach”. Naturopathic doctors take the time to identify and teach people the things they need to know to regain and maintain their health.
  5. Treat the Whole Person: Each person is a unique individual and naturopathic medicine addresses the fact that the whole body and the environment it lives in is all interrelated.
  6. Prevention: The best way to treat a disease is not to get it in the first place. Looking at lifestyle risk factors and genetic vulnerabilities allows Naturopathic Doctors to help you take a proactive role in preventing disease. Preventative medicine is often associated with early detection, but the two are very different. If it’s detectable, it wasn’t prevented.

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