A Naturopathic Doctor is a primary health care practitioner that uses natural therapies. This type of medicine is often included under the broad umbrella term, CAM, which stands for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. The term CAM sheds light on the fact that naturopathic medicine can be used as an alternative to conventional treatments as well as in conjunction with standard medical care. As a patient, you do not have to choose one stream of medicine or the other.
There are five principles that Naturopathic Doctors base their treatment plans on. It is important for patients to have somewhat of an understanding of these principles, so they are not expecting to be treated the same way they would be treated by their MD, with pharmaceuticals being replaced by herbs and vitamins.
The five principles of Naturopathic Medicine are:
- First, to do no harm
- To co-operate with the healing power of nature
- To address the fundamental causes of disease
- To heal the whole person through individualized treatment
- To teach the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine
The natural therapies used by Naturopathic Doctors include:
- Lifestyle counselling
- Clinical Nutrition
- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
- Homeopathic Medicine
- Physical Medicine
- Botanical Medicine
Being a patient of a Naturopathic Doctor is not always easy.
It requires patience, hard work and dedication. As you will discover, the dynamic that exists between a Naturopathic Doctor and their patient is a very special relationship.
As a patient, it is important to recognize the role you play.
No one knows your body better than you do. Being honest and having trust can allow true and lasting healing to occur, taking you to your optimal state of health.