Naturopathic Doctors diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases using a system that is based on the natural healing capacity of individuals. We utilize the same physical exams, patient histories and laboratory tests used by medical doctors to diagnose illness. However, we differ from other doctors in our approach to healing. We are experts in natural medicine and work in a holistic way to restore and support our inherent ability to return to health. We are extensively trained to use the least invasive therapies to achieve health with minimal side-effects. Our goal is to find the underlying cause of the illness and remove it. In this way, we do not just mask symptoms but, rather, effect a deep, long-lasting cure. We offer a wide range of integrated, natural therapies which include nutritional assessment and therapy, herbal medicine, physical medicine, homeopathy and mind-body medicine.
Naturopathic doctors base their practice on six timeless principles founded on medical tradition and scientific evidence.
- Let nature heal. Our bodies have a powerful, innate instinct for self-healing. By finding and removing the barriers to this self-healing—such as poor diet or unhealthy habits—naturopathic doctors can nurture this process.
- Identify and treat causes. Naturopathic doctors understand that symptoms will only return unless the root illness is addressed. Rather than cover up symptoms, they seek to find and treat the cause of these symptoms.
- First, do no harm. Naturopathic doctors follow three precepts to ensure their patients’ safety:
- Use low-risk procedures and healing compounds—such as dietary supplements, herbal extracts and homeopathy—with few or no side effects.
- When possible, do not suppress symptoms, which are the body’s efforts to self-heal. For example, the body may cook up a fever in reaction to a bacterial infection. Fever creates an inhospitable environment for the harmful bacteria, thereby destroying it. Of course, the naturopathic doctor would not allow the fever to get dangerously high.
- Customize each diagnosis and treatment plan to fit each patient. We all heal in different ways and the naturopathic doctor respects our differences.
- Educate patients. Naturopathic medicine believes that doctors must also be educators. That’s why naturopathic doctors teach their patients how to eat, exercise, relax and nurture themselves physically and emotionally. They also encourage self-responsibility and work closely with each patient.
- Treat the whole person. We each have a unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual makeup. The naturopathic doctor knows that all these factors affect our health. That’s why he or she includes them in a carefully tailored treatment strategy.
- Prevent illness. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" has never been truer. Proactive medicine saves money, pain, misery and lives. That’s why naturopathic doctors evaluate risk factors, heredity and vulnerability to disease. By getting treatment for greater wellness, we’re less likely to need treatment for future illness.
"Naturopathic Medicine: What can patients expect?", an article published in The Journal of Family Practice, may answer questions you have regarding naturopathy.