What is Naturopathic Medicine and What Should I Expect When Seeing an ND?
Naturopathic Medicine is a unique and effective form of medicine, that although traditional in it’s roots, has recently become an emerging profession in medicine. A Naturopathic Doctor takes a different approach to your health, which helps to get at the cause of your disease or ailment while establishing a basis for prevention and life long health.
To do this, your Naturopath follows six fundamental healing principles:
- First Do No Harm
- Treat the Causes of Disease
- Support the healing power of the body
- Emphasize prevention
- Heal the whole person through individualized treatment
- Docere “The Doctor As Teacher”
First Do No Harm
Any physician will adhere to this principle. A physician’s number one goal is to see you feel better and live a healthier lifestyle. Naturopathic Physician’s feel that it is of the utmost importance to minimize harm of any intervention. This is why ND’s emphasize prevention and minimize interventions when possible. Naturopaths have a responsibility to you in the way that we approach your illness and we make a pact to first do no harm and to do the least possible to attain health and well-bring for each patient (I don’t think this is what you meant to say here.)
As a patient, you are responsible for the following during your care:
- A belief that you can heal
- A willingness to change
- A willingness to make adjustments to provide a healing environment
Treat the Causes of Disease
Naturopathic Medicine treats the underlying cause as opposed to treating just your symptoms. By doing this, we eliminate the disease at its source, which also effectively alleviates the symptoms and prevents them from returning. Diabetes or high blood pressure, for example, are called "Diseases of Lifestyle" because they can often be prevented or controlled by changes in diet, exercise or stress levels. By taking extra time and treating each patient as an individual, your Naturopathic Physician will educate you on the specific lifestyle changes that can be made to limit symptoms and, in some cases, eliminate the disease altogether.
Support the Healing Power of the Body
We also acknowledge that nature's rejuvenating power cannot be denied. Everything you need to heal yourself is already within you. If your environment is aligned properly and your emotional and physical stressors are identified, your body will regenerate via its own innate abilities.
True healing takes place over a period of time in order to discover what has led you to this moment. One visit is typically not enough to identify the root cause of your health problems. Your Naturopathic Doctor will peel back the layers to discover what is affecting your health and well-being. Then, create steps toward preventing further issues and building a strong wellness foundation. You and your doctor will track and account for long-term changes toward a healthy lifestyle.
Healing the whole person through individualized treatment
In Conventional Medicine, we have different doctors for our hearts, our feet, our head and so on. Each portion of the body is treated independently. Naturopaths look to treat the entire person physically, mentally and emotionally because we believe your body is a system of components that work together as a whole. If one portion is not functioning properly, the rest suffer as well or overcompensate.
Your Naturopath will spend extra time with you initially, listening to your concerns and working to understand the cause of your symptoms. This time is spent getting to know both you and your health history. Next will be a discussion about specific protocols to target the root cause of your symptoms, which may include things like environmental toxicity, nutritional deficiencies, dietary abuse, emotional triggers, and more.
We will work with you to develop a plan of action to repair your body in order to reduce and hopefully alleviate your symptoms completely. Each patient's program is uniquely tailored to their specific issues and individuality.
Docere “The Doctor As Teacher”
Naturopathic Doctors are teachers. We educate our patients as to how they can participate and have an affect on their own health care. No one should leave their doctor's office without understanding why they are taking a medication or making lifestyle changes. We present a variety of health-care options for you to select from for a proper fit to your lifestyle. We educate you on which changes we recommend and most importantly, why we feel they are crucial to your health.
With long-term cooperation of working to learn about your body and yourself, what nourishes your body and promotes health, you will find that you feel better than ever.