Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body and treat the underlying cause of disease. Symptoms of disease are seen as warning signals of improper functioning of the body, and unfavourable lifestyle habits. Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes disease as a process rather than as an entity.
Treating both acute and chronic conditions, naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient – their physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environment and lifestyle factors. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation and traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, may also be used during treatments.
In Canada, the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice, participation in many federal health committee initiatives, and a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.
Trained in providing adjunctive cancer care, inlcuding Viscosan/Mistletoe Treatment.
Providing support for weight loss, autoimmune, allergies, arthirits, osteoporosis etc.
Naturopathic doctors are guided by six principles. This set of principles, emphasized throughout a naturopathic doctor's training, outlines the naturopathic approach to health and healing and forms the foundation of this distinct form of health care.
Naturopathic medicine follows three principles to avoid harming the patient:
1) utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects;
2) avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms;
3) acknowledge and respect the individual's healing process, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat illness.
Your naturopathic doctor chooses remedies and therapies that are safe and effective, to increase your health and decrease harmful side effects.
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
Your naturopathic doctor works to restore and support the powerful and inherent healing ability of your body, mind and spirit and to prevent further disease from occurring. Naturopathic doctors identify and remove obstacles to recovery, facilitating and augmenting this ordered and intelligent healing ability.
The primary goal of your naturopathic doctor is to determine and treat the underlying cause rather than simply managing or suppressing the symptoms. The underlying cause may be due to diet, lifestyle habits, life events, posture or environment. Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body's natural attempt to heal.
Each person is unique and requires individualized care. In treating the cause of any condition your naturopathic doctor takes into account not only your physical symptoms, but also mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, spiritual and other factors. Disease affects the entire person, not just a specific organ or system. Your nutritional status, lifestyle, family history, feelings, environmental stresses, and physical health are all carefully evaluated and addressed.
Your naturopathic doctors will assist you in understanding health and illness. He/she will provide with an understanding of the factors that affect your health and help you balance and become more capable of maintaining your own health. Naturopathic doctors also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.
Your naturopathic doctor applies all of the above principles in a proactive form of disease prevention and health promotion. Naturopathic doctors emphasize healthy daily habits, they assess risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and make appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Health is more than just the absence of disease. Health entails daily functioning on the highest possible levels, and is obtained by proper nutrition, exercise, a balanced lifestyle, positive emotions, thoughts and actions. The capacity for optimal wellness or an improved quality of life is inherent in every body.
The range of modalities allows naturopathic doctors to develop treatment plans that address not only the physical aspect of a person, but also the mental and emotional aspects. The naturopathic therapies are all based on the same principles, they all assist the body's healing response, and they are often more effective when combined.
Naturopathic doctors use a range of different therapies to address a patient’s physical, mental and emotional health. The therapies used assist the body's healing response and they are often more effective when combined.
Here are some of the natural therapies and treatment options naturopathic doctors use:
Nutrition and the therapeutic use of foods is a cornerstone of naturopathic medicine. Food intolerances, deficiencies, dietary imbalances or nutritional excesses have been associated with many medical conditions. A naturopathic doctor is trained to understand the impact that your diet is having on your health. With appropriate dietary modification and nutritional supplements health concerns can be treated with fewer complications and side effects.
Medicinal plants have been, and will continue to be a valuable part of health care. These plants and plant substances are highly effective and safe in the right dosage and when used correctly with other herbs and treatments. Herbs can be prepared in many forms - teas, tinctures or capsules. Naturopathic doctors are extensively trained in both the art and science of botanical medicine. Naturopathic doctors are currently the only health care providers in Canada to be regulated for the use of botanical medicine.
This powerful system of medicine is more than 200 years old and is widely accepted in many countries. Homeopathic remedies are made from specific dilutions of plant, animal and mineral substances. When carefully matched to the patient they are able to affect the body's "vital force" and to stimulate the body's innate healing forces on both the physical and emotional levels, with few side effects. Some conditions that do not respond well to conventional medicine respond effectively to homeopathy.
The key principle that defines and connects all of Chinese medicine is that of Chi, or vital energy. The chi of all organs must be in balance, neither too active nor too dormant, for a person to be healthy. The chi of the body's organs and systems are all connected in meridians or channels that lie just under the skin. A Naturopathic Doctor will use Eastern herbs and acupuncture to assist the body in regulating the Chi and achieving balance. Acupuncture is the use of very thin needles which are inserted into specific meridian points. The practice of acupuncture has been around for over two thousand years and has proven to be very effective especially for pain relief and chronic illness.
Physical medicine offers treatment for many different health concerns. Treatments can include soft tissue work (including therapeutic massage), naturopathic manipulation of muscle, bone or the spine, hydrotherapy techniques, gentle electrical impulses, ultrasound, diathermy, and exercise therapy.
Mental attitudes and emotional states are important elements in healing and disease. Addressing all aspects of a person's life, identifying and addressing the impact that stress and life events have on a patient's health is an important aspect of naturopathic treatment. Naturopathic doctors are trained to counsel on diet, lifestyle, specific stressors, exercise and occupational or environmental hazards as an integral part of the naturopathic treatment program.
Information taken from CAND.ca