What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Natural therapies have been used to treat disease since our earliest beginnings. This is revealed in the first know written records when the healing power of plants was mentioned. When Naturopathy emerged as a distinct science, no one can say. Early Chinese texts dating to 3000 B.C. discuss herbal treatments. Both the Old and New Testaments speak of the use of herbs and water therapy. Hippocrates was known to treat disease with diet, fasting, hydrotherapy, exercise, and herbs. From these historic origins, naturopathic medicine has developed. In the early 1900s, allopathic medicine gained political power and stifled the naturopathic profession.With the free movement of the 1960s, awareness in all things “natural” sparked a steady re-emergence of naturopathic physicians.

Recent pharmaceutical tragedies have led the public to question the efficacy and safety of modern medicine. With each new horrific story on the evening news caused by drugs presented as harmless for years, more people are in search of safe healthcare alternatives. People are also becoming more aware that they are to be responsible for their own health and are seeking information on how to stay healthy and prevent illness.This quest often sends the public looking outside the conventional American medical system. As in the past, naturopathic physicians are offering the alternative in honoring the first naturopathic principle of primum non nocere or ‘first do no harm’ by using therapies that are safe and effective.

Modern naturopathic physicians’ training encompasses both traditional and modern techniques of diagnosis and treatment. Licensed naturopathic physicians attended a four-year medical school and earn the degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) and The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Although, not all that call themself a naturopath has attended a rigorous graduate program from an accredited school. Admission requirements are similar to that of conventional medical schools. The doctorate program includes all the basic science, diagnostic and clinical medicine courses standard to any other medical training intuitions. In addition, the naturopath is trained in a wide variety of natural therapeutics and nontoxic approaches to therapy with an emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness.

Today, Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. Practice principles of naturopathic medicine are based on the premise that it is intrinsic to the nature of humans to heal. Illness is viewed as a disruption of normal physiologic function. It is on this foundation that naturopathic medicine recognizes the vis medicatrix naturae, or the healing power of nature, and its therapies are built around this. Naturopathic physicians embrace the idea of patient-centered medicine as opposed to disease-centered medicine. The endeavor for naturopathy is to treat the patient not the disease (tolle totem), discover and remove the cause of the disease (tolle causam), not merely to treat its symptoms or postpone the disease. Modern naturopathic medicine has evolved to be the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using conventional diagnostics, surgery and pharmacology in addition to natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, natural childbirth, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation, oriental medicine, mind-body counseling, acupuncture, and lifestyle counseling.



Copyright © 2017-2018 Kimberly Wilson, NMD LLC - All Rights Reserved.  All material provided on this website is provided for informational or educational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your healthcare professional, counselor or physician.  These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure, or prevent any disease.   All services not available in all states.


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