PHILOSOPHY OF NATUROPATHY
The philosophy of naturopathic medicine is based upon three basic principles. The first principle is that the body possesses the power to heal itself through its internal vitality and intelligence. This vital force is the foundation of naturopathic philosophy. All the naturopathy practitioners .use it to create the most favourable conditions to stimulate and enhance the healing power of nature.
The second principle is that disease is a manifestation of the vital force applying itself to the removal of obstructions to the normal functioning of organs and tissues. The naturopathy practitioner always seeks to discover and remove the basic causes of disease wherever it may lie:
1. Chemical i.e. an imbalance in the chemistry of the body fluids due to dietary deficiency or dietary excess, retention of waste products due to inefficient functioning of the lungs, kidneys and bowels, or poor circulation of body fluids.
2. Mechanical i.e. muscular tensions, strained ligaments, stiff joints, poor posture due to occupational factors, as well as spinal misalignments, leading to an interference in the functioning of the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system generally.
3. Psychological i.e. impaired function induced by stress, which may be due to worries and upsets in personal and domestic life and/or anxieties and pressures at work.
The third principle is that naturopathic medicine is a holistic approach to health. In other words, disease affects the whole person-- body, mind and spirit, and not simply an isolated organ or system. Each person responds in unique ways to his or her environment, each has individual strengths, weaknesses and needs. Their body's reactions to the same stress may be different depending on their level of health, inherited tendencies, previous medical history, etc. In treating the whole person the naturopathy practitioner searches for causes at many levels, and seeks to eliminate the fundamental cause of illness, not simply to remove symptoms.
Naturopathy doctors (NOs) follow six key principles in their practices:
1. The Healing Power of Nature: Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in each of us which is both ordered and intelligent. NOs act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this self-healing ability.
2. Identify and Treat the Cause: NDs seek to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
3. First Do No Harm: NDs follow these precepts to avoid harming the patient:
Utilize methods and medical substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnoses and treat.
Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms.
Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual's self healing process.
Refer for appropriate treatment when naturopathic therapies are inappropriate.
4. Doctor as Teacher: NDs educate their patients and encourage them to take self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of a good doctor-patient relationship.
5. Treat the Whole Person: NDs treat each patient taking into account individual, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, genetic, environmental, social and other factors.
6. Prevention: NDs emphasize the prevention of diseases- 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 doctors (NDs) concentrate on a whole person's wellness. Treatment is tailored to each individual patient and emphasizes prevention and self care. They attempt to find the underlying causes of the patient's condition rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment. They believe strongly in integrative medicine and cooperate with all other branches of medicine, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis and/or treatment when appropriate.