Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are primary care doctors clinically trained in natural therapeutics and whose philosophy is derived in part from a Hippocratic teaching more than 2000 years old: Vis mediatrix naturae -- nature is the healer of all diseases. Their practice is based on the same basic bio-medical science foundation that allopathic practice is; however, their philosophies and approaches differ considerably from their conventional counterparts.
Naturopathic Doctors diagnose disease and treat patients by using natural modalities such as clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, supplementation, homeopathy, counseling, intravenous therapies, injection therapies and hydrotherapy, among others. They choose treatment based on the individual patient, not based on the generality of symptoms. This approach has proven successful in treating both chronic and acute conditions.
The six principles that guide the therapeutic methods and modalities of naturopathic medicine include:
Naturopathic medicine uses therapies that are safe and effective.
The human body possesses the inherent ability to restore health. The doctor's role is to facilitate this process with the aid of natural, nontoxic therapies.
Doctors seek and treat the underlying cause of a disease. Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body's natural attempt to heal. The origin of disease is removed or treated so the patient can recover.
The multiple factors in health and disease are considered while treating the whole person. Doctors provide flexible treatment programs to meet individual health care needs.
The doctor's major role is to educate, empower, and motivate patients to take responsibility for their own health. Creating a healthy cooperative relationship with the patient has a strong therapeutic value.
Naturopathic Doctors are preventive medicine specialists. Doctors assess patient risk factors and heredity susceptibility and intervene appropriately to reduce risk and prevent illness. Prevention of disease is best accomplished through education and a lifestyle that supports health.