What is NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?
Although the words “natural” and “holistic” have become major buzz words in recent years, these are not novel ideas in the world of health and medicine. They are, in fact, much more closely related to the exact opposite; these were dominant themes in medicine for centuries, prior to the beginnings of modern medicine. A system of medicine born from a combination of these age-old principles, knowledge, and techniques is Naturopathy. Naturopathy, or Naturopathic medicine, has seen a tremendous growth in the past several years, and for good reason. However, many are still unfamiliar with the profession and what it really entails. So, here is a brief overview of Naturopathic medicine and what can be expected when seeing a Naturopathic Doctor. For your convenience, this blog post is also available as a video (here), and as a podcast (here).
Naturopathic medicine is a form of medical care that has been around for over a hundred years, at the very least, but saw itself fade and almost completely diminish in the early 20th century. However, the last 3 or 4 decades have seen a tremendous growth in the profession, mainly due to a huge push from the general public demanding safe, cost-effective, preventative, natural, and holistic medicine that treats patients as individuals and not just a diagnosis or disease. An excerpt from the official website of the AANP – which is the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, say that:
“Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage an individuals’ inherent self-healing process. The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods.”
Now that sounds great and all, but what really makes naturopathic medicine different and distinct as a system of medicine? Well essentially, Naturopathic medicine is based on 6 main principles, and a therapeutic order that guides the level and force of intervention that should be used to affect a patient’s health.