Naturopathic medicine is a complete and co-ordinated approach to health care. It is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using natural therapies and gentle techniques.
Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine are specialists in natural medicine and preventive health care, integrating scientific knowledge with traditional healing wisdom. They are health-care professionals who use safe, gentle, non-invasive therapies to assist the whole person in maximizing the body’s inherent self-healing capacity.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The following tenets govern the practice of naturopathic medicine.
Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)
The naturopathic doctor seeks to identify and to remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
First, Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic doctors follow these three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
- Use methods and medicines which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat.
- Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppressing of symptoms.
- Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual’s self-healing process.
Doctor As Teacher (Docere)
Naturopathic doctors share information and knowledge with their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health.
Treat The Whole Person
Naturopathic doctors treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors.
Naturopathic doctors emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
Support The Healing Power of The Body (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
Naturopathic Medicine recognizes an inherent self healing process in the person which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic doctors act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and increase this inherent self-healing process.
Naturopathic Medical Treatments
Naturopathic doctors examine the relationship between diet and health. Special diets may be recommended as well as nutritional supplements (e.g. vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc.).
Botanical (Herbal) Medicine
The use of plants for healing dates back to the beginning of civilization and is the foundation of modern pharmacology.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Based on balancing the flow of Chi (energy) through meridian pathways, Oriental medicine includes the use of acupuncture, acupressure and Oriental herbs.
Based on the principle of “like cures like” homeopathic medicine was developed in the 1700’s. Minute amounts of natural substances are used to stimulate the body’s self-healing abilities.
The philosophy underlying naturopathic hydrotherapy is that health and healing is proportional to normal flow of healthy blood. Hot and cold applications to the skin via water cause changes in the circulation of the blood and lymph which lead to changes at the cellular, tissue, organ and organ system levels of the body.
LifeStyle Counseling and Stress Management
Physical, emotional, nutritional and environmental factors affect health. Naturopaths are trained to effectively educate patients about the interdependence of lifestyle and health.
First Line Therapy
First Line Therapy is a therapeutic lifestyle program which is designed to help you live your life in a way that improves your health. A “therapeutic lifestyle” means making choices every day that will enhance your health and help prevent disease, enabling you to achieve a full, healthy life.
First line Therapy is based in extensive scientific research demonstrating that many of the chronic diseases associated with aging are largely caused by lifestyle choices. These diseases include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Metabolic syndrome
Who can benefit from FLT?
Everyone can benefit from a therapeutic lifestyle as it has been shown to optimize health and prevent disease. It is recommended as a “first line therapy” for patients suffering from:
- Heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes
- Hormone related disorders
- Stress related disorders
- Conditions related to overweight/obesity
The program includes several ways to monitor progress:
- Depending on the individual – weekly, biweekly or monthly counseling sessions with a review of diet and exercise diaries
- Weight tracking
- Waist and hip ratio tracking
- Blood pressure tracking
- BioElectrical Impedance analysis tracking…learn more about this below
- Review and tracking of blood and urine analysis – based on individual needs
BioElectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)
BioElectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) is a method of assessing your “body composition” – the measurement of fat in relation to lean body mass. It is an integral part of a health and nutrition assessment.
To learn more about BIA, and why it is beneficial to assist you in achieving optimal health, click on the following links to read a four page article on BIA and its benefits: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, and Page 4.
Who can benefit from BIA testing?
BIA testing is very useful tool in the following conditions:
- Achieving optimal body composition, and tracking weight loss and weight management
- Tracking body composition during athletic training. BIA can track how the body is holding up to intense training by following things like phase angle, water distribution and also maintaining lean muscle tissues.
- During training, Lance Armstrong used a daily BIA test and then used this information as one of the factors for setting his training program for that day.
- Tracking/monitoring chronic disease
- Tracking caloric needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Helping underweight patients gain weight