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The term 'Naturopathic Medicine' refers to a distinct system of health care that utilizes natural methods and substances to support and stimulate the body's inherent self-healing process. As Hippocrates once stated, "The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well". The naturopathic practitioner views the individual as an integral whole. The symptoms of disease (i.e. low energy, headaches, etc.) are seen as warning signals of improper function and unfavorable lifestyle habits.
The primary goal is to treat the underlying cause of the disease.
Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic revival of interest in natural medicine and preventative health care. The body is designed to return to health, and by assessing diet, lifestyle, and nutritional supplementation, you can regain your energy and optimal health.
People are sick and tired of being 'sick and tired'. They are becoming increasingly aware that although drugs and surgery are valuable tools, they are not always the answer. Many individuals do not feel well and yet after seeing their medical doctors, are told that the physical exams and blood tests indicate they are in perfect health. They are frustrated by health concerns that are not easily answered and are told they have to live with them. A naturopathic doctor sees an individual's symptoms as the body's way of expressing imbalances. The overall goal is to remove the cause of the illness, and thus not only alleviate the symptoms, but address why those symptoms arose initially. In supporting rather than over-riding the body's natural mechanisms, often the body will return to a healthy state if given the opportunity.
Naturopathic doctors are registered health care professionals. Their training consists of at least three years in a science based pre-med program followed by a four-year doctorate degree from an accredited Naturopathic Medical College. Naturopathic doctors are required to complete 2 years of clinical experience and then pass extensive board exams before being granted a license to practice. They are regulated by a provincial and national association and are required to complete continuing education hours yearly to ensure they remain current. They are competent in evaluating standard medical blOodwork and diagnostic tests and although they do not use pharmaceuticals, they are trained in how they function and what the side effects are.
Medical doctors are an important component of an individuals health care program. They are an important part of the healthcare puzzle but not the only piece. The reality is that no one area of medicine has all the answers. Healthcare needs to be an integrated process of a number of different professionals to ensure you are receiving the best care possible. The MD's approach is targeted on disease diagnosis, emergency medicine, and medicating the symptom. Although this is valuable and provides initial relief, it doesn't address why the symptoms appeared in the first place. Naturopathic doctors look further than symptom palliation. Although treating the symptoms is important, the cause of the problem must be identified and addressed to return the body to optimal functioning.
The initial assessment consists of an in depth interview process where information such as current and prior health concerns, diet, stress, lifestyle, exercise, past illness, and environmental exposure are all integrated to identify the cause of the current symptoms being presented. Following this the patient will undergo a quick physical exam (without an internal) followed by additional testing to detect underlying causes and imbalances. The patient is the educated as to what is causing the imbalance and what is required to bring them back to a state of health. The patient's understanding and compliance are the most important components in the healing process, therefore, the visits are designed to create an atmosphere of trust and interaction to ensure the patient fully reaches their optimum potential. To learn more about the visit click here
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinctively natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the integrity of the whole person. The practice of Naturopathic Medicine emerges from six underlying principles of healing. It is these principles that distinguish the profession from other medical approaches:
THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE
The body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The doctor's role is to facilitate and encourage this process, to act to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment. Illness does not occur without cause. The underlying causes of disease must be discovered and treated before a person can recover completely from an illness. Causes may occur on many levels including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The doctor must evaluate fundamental underlying causes on all levels and direct the treatment at the root causes rather than at symptomatic expression.
Illness is a purposeful process in the body of an individual and the doctor's actions can either support or antagonize this process. Therapeutic intervention should be complimentary to and synergistic with the healing process. Therefore, treatment programs that are designed to suppress symptoms without removing the underlying causes of the condition are considered harmful and avoided or minimized. Although the doctors at the Integrative Health Centre do not use drugs or surgery, they are well trained to recognize where conventional medical treatment must be utilized, and refer to the appropriate medical practitioners.
TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON
Health and disease are conditions of the whole individual, a whole involving a complex interaction of physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. The doctor must treat the whole person by taking all of these factors into account. The harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual is essential for both the recovery, and prevention of disease.
DOCTOR AS TEACHER
Beyond an accurate diagnosis and appropriate prescription, the doctor must work to create a healthy, sensitive interpersonal relationship with the patient. A cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value and their major role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for his or her health. The doctor is a catalyst for healthful change, empowering and motivating the patient to assume responsibility. It is the patient who ultimately creates/accomplishes healing.
The ultimate goal of any health care system should be prevention. This is accomplished through education and promotion of life-habits that create good health. The doctor assesses risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and makes appropriate interventions to avoid further harm and risk to the patient. The emphasis is on building health rather than on fighting disease.