Naturopathic Medicine



Naturopathic medicine, or Naturopathy, is a system of medicine that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine to provide a primary health care solution. The philosophy of naturopathic medicine is to stimulate the natural inherent healing power of the body and treat the underlying cause of disease. Disease symptoms are seen as warning signals deriving from improper functioning of the body and undesirable lifestyle habits. naturopathic medicine views disease as a process rather than a separate entity.

Physicians of naturopathic medicine aid the healing process by incorporating a variety of alternative methods based on the patient's individual needs. The patient's physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environmental and lifestyle factors are all taken into account when determining a treatment regimen. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including herbal remedies, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation and Traditional Chinese Medicine/acupuncture, may also be utilized during treatments.

The Six Essential Principles of Naturopathic Medicine are:

- First Do No Harm: Naturopathic doctors are committed to the principle of causing no harm to the patient by utilizing the most natural, least invasive, safe and effective natural therapies.

- The Healing Power of Nature: The body has considerable power to heal on it's own, and the role of the naturopathic doctor is to aid this inherent process with the use of natural, nontoxic therapies.

- Treat Causes Rather Than Effects: Naturopathic doctors seek the underlying cause of symptoms rather than simply suppressing them. They avoid suppression of the natural healing wisdom of the body, such as fever and inflammation. Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body's natural attempt to heal on it's own while the causes can emerge from the physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual levels.

- Physician As Teacher: Naturopathic doctors are teachers who educate, empower, and motivate the patient to assume more personal responsibility for achieving his or her own health by adopting a positive attitude, lifestyle, and diet.

- Treat the Whole Person: The individual is viewed as a whole being composed a complex interaction of physical, mental/emotional, spiritual, social, and other factors. This multifactorial approach results in a therapeutic approach in which no disease is automatically dismissed as incurable.

- Prevention Is The Best Cure: Naturopathic doctors are preventive medicine specialists who focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention. Diseases prevention is accomplished through education and a lifestyle that supports health.



The naturopathic system of medicine views disease as a manifestation of the natural causes by which the body heals itself. As an example, fever and inflammation are viewed as the body's way of dealing with an imbalance that is inhibiting the proper functioning of the body. If however the cause of the imbalance is not corrected, the inflammatory responses will continue, either at a lower level of intensity or intermittently which can result in the formation of chronic disease. The correction of chronic disease requires removal of the underlying cause, not the symptoms.

A term in naturopathic medicine known as a “healing crisis” or “reaction” is the return of an acute episode, once this passes the condition improves. When the condition(s) that manifest in illness are identified, the naturopathic doctor advises the patient on the methods of treatment most suitable for restoring health. It is often necessary for the patient, in order to become free of illness,  to commit to both dietary and lifestyle changes as well as following a specific treatment regime. 

Typically, naturopathic doctors will conduct a thorough report of the patient's health history and lifestyle as well as a case exploration of the symptoms and complaints. Following are the necessary physical examinations and various laboratory tests. Once the causative factors are determined, the doctor will discuss his or her findings with the patient in an attempt to connect and interpret the symptoms. Finally, appropriate changes are recommended such as dietary factors. Together doctor and patient will establish an appropriate treatment and health-promoting program. All other perceived causes are addressed either with counseling, exercise, or other natural treatments.  



Modern naturopathic doctors provide their patients complete diagnostic and therapeutic services and use a wide range of modalities which allow them to develop treatment plans that are tailored to the patient. Like family doctors, many practice natural child birth, pediatrics, gynecology and geriatrics. All of these therapies share the same principles, they all aid the body's natural healing response. Certain natural treatment therapies may be used solely or in combination with one another to achieve health restoration. Some of these natural treaments include clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, counseling and lifestyle modification, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, botanical/herbal medicine, and minor surgery.



Naturopathic medicine can be applied in almost any healthcare situation, however its most effective in the treatment of chronic and degenerative illnesses. Naturopathy can be used to treat patients of all ages, from infants, children, and adolescents to the very elderly. Typically there are three reasons patients seek naturopathic medical care:

1. Patients that are looking for disease prevention and health promotion strategies. More so than ever before, people are seeking ways to take control of their own health and are coming to the realization that health does not just happen by chance and that it is a life-long process that involves an understanding of the factors that affect health and how to deal with them.

2. Patients that have a range of symptoms that they were unable to address on their own or with the help of other medical health providers. Naturopathic doctors are often able to offer their patients safe and effective health restoration solutions and provide a new perspective on health at the same time.

3. Patients that have been diagnosed with an illness and are looking for alternative treatments. Naturopathic medicine is used extensively and effectively for those that are looking to combine conventional and naturopathic treatments in the least invasive   way possible to minimize side effects of drugs and surgery.

Some of the common conditions naturopathic doctors treat include digestive disorders, depression & anxiety, cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions, stress management, hormonal imbalances, diabetes, and much more. 

For more information and to learn more about Naturopathic Medicine contact a Naturopathic Doctor near you.