A naturopathic physician is a doctor trained like any other doctor of general family practice. Naturopathic physicians diagnose patiets' problems similar to other physicians but they don't use pharmaceutical medicines. They use natural botanicals, herbs, homeopathy and nutritional supplements. Naturopathic physicians are trained to not just treat symptoms, but to treat the cause of the "dis-ease."
Fundamental Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
- First, do no harm. Naturopathic physicians utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful effects, although sometimes this does not mean without side effects. For example, de-toxification can have some unpleasant side-effects. Whenever possible the suppression of symptoms is avoided as suppression generally interferes with the healing process.
- Treat the whole person. Everyone is different...biochemically, genetically, emotionally, mentally, environmentally and spiritually. Naturopathic physicians treat the whole person, taking these factors into account.
- Naturopaths practice and believe in the healing power of nature. This belief includes the concept that the body can heal itself of just about anything if clear of toxins and if given proper nutrition, rest, mental outlook and natural stimulation.
- Find the cause. Every ailment, dis-ease or illness has an underlying cause, often in aspects of the individual's lifestyle, diet or habits. Naturopathic physicians are trained to find and remove the underlying cause of a disease.
- Preventative medicine. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." It is much easier to prevent minor illnesses from developing into more serious diseases. Patients are taught the principles with which to live a healthy life and by following these principles, they can prevent major illnesses.