Naturopathy: A Holistic Approach to Modern Medicine

No matter what approach a person takes to achieving it, most people agree that good health is important. The average American sees a doctor with at least some regularity, and supplemental health support – such as alternative and complementary therapy – is gaining popularity. One such practice of holistic healing is naturopathy, a science based on the healing power of nature and the body, itself.

What is Naturopathy?

Naturopathic doctors practice with six core concepts in mind.

1. Vis Medicatrix Naturae – The healing power of nature.
2. Tolle Causam – Identification and treatment of causes of health concerns.
3. Primum Non Nocere – Above all, do no harm. Doctors of naturopathic medicine use three principles to achieve this:
a. Choosing methods and materials for treatment with as few risks to the patient as possible.
b. Avoiding system suppression, and allowing the body to maintain proper function in all ways.
c. Respecting the individual healing process of each patient, and using as little force as possible during diagnosis and treatment.
4. Docere – Regarding the doctor as their patient’s teacher.
5. Treatment of the whole person, rather than isolated symptoms.
6. Prevention and proactivity, rather than reactive treatment, and overall wellbeing as a focus of care.

Using these principles, naturopathy practitioners are able to bring holistic healing to their patients, as well as equip them for ongoing health maintenance.

A Growing Trend

While naturalistic medicine has been practiced worldwide for most of recorded history, the rise of arts such as naturopathic healing in places like the United States and Canada are part of a larger, modern trend that favors the addition and inclusion of holistic medical practice. Though practitioners can be found in every American state, nineteen states in particular have laws and regulations governing their practice, ensuring only the safest, highest quality care possible for clients. By issuing these guidelines, the state governments provide better access to this care for patients, and more assurance to doctors that their practice will be built on a publicly credible and concrete foundation, something alternative medicines are often less likely to have. Organizations like the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians help states enforce these rules and regulations, and provide information and education as well.

Naturopathy is just one of many types of care that – when combined with more traditional forms of medicine – can create a comprehensive and cohesive wellness plan for any prospective patient.

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