Naturopathic medicine is based on six philosophical tenets, which are listed below. As you read them you will recognize old concepts that are sometimes neglected in medical settings. Naturopathic treatments begin with efforts to remove barriers to cure and support innate self-healing mechanisms, usually through diet and lifestyle adjustments. If more support is needed, treatments such as nutrition, botanical medicine, electrotherapy and light therapy, or bioidentical hormones may be offered. In Oregon and fifteen other states, Naturopaths are licensed primary care doctors who can order labs, prescribe pharmaceutical medications, and refer for surgery or other procedures as needed. Naturopaths reserve surgery and dangerous medicines for the cases that really need them.
First and Foremost Do No Harm. This is the first oath of a physician. It begins simplistic and absolute, and gains complexity in practice. All people, including doctors, sometimes have to chose between one harm and another harm. A caring doctor puts the safety of the patient first.
The Prevention of Illness seems like an obvious goal, but it seems that our healthcare system might be better named a sickcare system. Naturopaths emphasize preventative medicine by teaching you how to live better, which helps resolve illness and dysfunction and prevent future problems.
Directly translated from the Latin this means to Identify and Treat the Cause. There may be more than one cause of any medical situation. Some causes we can change; others are fixed. Naturopathic medicine emphasizes this search for the reasons for disease, which takes time and effort. Finding and addressing causes allows for the possibility of complete resolution and full health, instead of longterm disease management and medication of symptoms.
The Healing Power of Nature has been repeatedly demonstrated by science. We are alive, and we have an astounding ability to recover and heal from injuries and illness. Foods that grow from the earth support our health. Being near other living things makes us happy. A naturopath may prescribe companionship, fresh water, sunlight, rivers, snow, mountains or oceans to make us feel better and heal faster.
Only an open mind can learn. Naturopaths want to teach you everything we know about how to regain and optimize health. We are eager to answer your questions about how the body works. We will explain your options, including conventional ones, so that you can make educated choices about what to do.
This means to Take the Whole into account, in this case the Whole Person. You can subdivide a person into Mind, Body and Spirit or some other categories, but really a person is more than the sum of these things. We are complex and layered, and our parts are integrated, interacting and in balance with each other. Dysfunction in any part of a person has a ripple effect to the other parts. Treating the whole person involves providing support where there is weakness, encouragement where there is strength, and inspiration where there is hopelessness.