Advancing the Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
One of the things I want to accomplish with my blog is to present emerging naturopathic treatments that are gaining respect in Western medicine. For example, I published a post not too long ago talking about the use of IV therapy to treat shingles. Before I write any more of those posts, I thought it might be wise to first lay out the principles of naturopathic medicine for my readers. These six principles are also gaining new respect in Western medicine, opening the door to greater use of naturopathy as a primary means of wellness.
Rest assured that trained naturopaths base their daily practice of medicine on the six principles. While others in the medical community may not necessarily agree with all of them, they are the foundation of what we naturopaths do. Our six principles are:
1. The Body Can Heal Itself
The human body has an incredible built-in capability of self-repair. We all know this is true based on a virtually limitless number of experiences throughout our lifetimes. For example, your body responds to a cut finger by sending extra platelets to this site of the wound in order to cleanse it and stop the bleeding. Over time, the body generates new tissue to replace the damaged tissue of the wound.
Naturopathy focuses on letting the body do as much self-healing as possible. Rather than try to heal externally, our job is to find ways to help the body do what it does best. Thus, our approach to medicine is more natural.
2. First, Do No Harm
Like medical doctors, we naturopaths make a commitment to do no harm to our patients. What makes us different is our definition of harm. We believe that being unnecessarily invasive in medical treatments is harmful to the human body. Therefore, we choose the least invasive method of healing as a matter of course.
3. Treat Causes Rather Than Symptoms
The biggest difference between naturopathy and Western medicine is that naturopaths look to identify and address the root causes of illness rather than merely treating symptoms. For example, it is not enough for the naturopath to provide pain relief to a patient suffering from migraines. We want to know what is causing those migraines so that the cause can be eliminated.
4. Apply Holistic Treatments
Naturopathic practitioners understand that the human being is more than just a body. Therefore, we believe in a holistic approach to healing that treats the whole person in body, mind and spirit. Treating the whole person leads to better overall health and well-being in both the short and long terms.
5. Prevention Is Vital to Good Health
Naturopathy is rooted in the belief that prevention of illness is far better than responsive treatment. A person who is able to live a generally healthy lifestyle does not need outside intervention to stay well. Therefore, we promote wellness through prevention wherever possible.
6. The Naturopaths Is a Teacher
Lastly, the naturopath understands his or her role as a teacher. Rather than someone who merely dispenses prescription medications along with medical terms the average patient does not know, the naturopath believes that helping patients understand the human body and good health is essential. This is why naturopaths tend to take more time with patients during every visit.
There is a big difference between naturopathy and traditional Western medicine. If you have never experienced naturopathy yourself, we encourage you to do so. Naturopathic medicine involves a whole new way of thinking that can lead to better health and well-being throughout your lifetime.