- First, to do no harm, by using methods and medicines that minimize the risk of harmful side effects.
- To treat the causes of disease, by identifying and removing the underlying causes of illness, rather than suppressing symptoms.
- To teach the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine, by sharing knowledge with patients and encouraging individual responsibility for health.
- To heal the whole person through individualized treatment, by understanding the unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors that contribute to illness, and customizing treatment protocols to the patient.
- To emphasize prevention, by partnering with the patient to assess risk factors and recommend appropriate naturopathic interventions to maintain health and prevent illness.
- To support the healing power of the body, by recognizing and removing obstacles to the body’s inherent self-healing process.
These are the principles of naturopathic medicine, a system of primary healthcare that focuses on promotion of wellness and prevention of illness. Naturopathic doctors are highly trained individuals who complete a four year full time program after graduating from an undergraduate post secondary degree. The naturopathic medical program encompasses basic medical sciences, naturopathic principles and therapeutics and 1200 hours of supervised clinical experience. Graduates must pass two sets of provincial licensing board exams and maintain ongoing continuing education.
Naturopathic medicine is beneficial for individuals of all ages, from babies to our elders – no two people are exactly alike and so no two people will receive exactly the same treatment. From immune dysfunction to chronic illness, stress management to digestive trouble, pain management to infertility, naturopathic doctors are able to manage a variety of conditions.
References: http://www.CCNM.edu, accessed 2/6/13