Practice in Canada
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. Naturopathic medicine is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation, traditional Chinese medicine / acupuncture, and lifestyle counseling.
A Naturopathic Doctor is a primary care practitioner that seeks to restore and maintain optimum health in their patients by emphasizing nature’s inherent self-healing process. A Naturopathic Doctor views the individual as an integral whole including the physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environment and lifestyle factors affecting health. Symptoms of disease are seen as warning signals of improper functioning of the body and unfavorable lifestyle habits. Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes disease as a process rather than disease as an entity. The primary goal is to treat the underlying cause of the disease. This approach has proven successful in treating both chronic and acute conditions. Treatments are chosen based on the individual patient, not based on the generality of symptoms.
Naturopathic doctors can also complement and enhance health care services provided by other health care professionals. They cooperate with other branches of medical science referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate. Naturopathic Doctors provide patients with a truly integrative form of health care.
In Canada, the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice, participation in many federal health committee initiatives, and a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The Naturopathic Physician will practice the art, science and spirit of the profession to the best of his/her ability and judgment following these principles of Naturopathic Medicine:
Primum Non Nocere (First Do No Harm)
The Naturopathic Physician shall endeavor to first, do no harm; to provide the most effective health care available with the least risk to his/her patients at all times.
Vis Medicatrix Naturae (The Healing Power of Nature)
The Naturopathic Physician shall recognize, respect and promote the self-healing power of nature inherent in each individual human being.
Tolle Causum (Treat the Cause)
The Naturopathic Physician shall strive to identify and remove the causes of illness, rather than to eliminate or suppress symptoms.
Docere (Doctor as Teacher)
The Naturopathic Physician shall educate his/her patients, inspire rational hope and encourage self-responsibility for health.
Treat the Whole Person
The Naturopathic Physician shall treat each person by considering all individual health factors and influences.
Health Promotion, the Best Prevention
The Naturopathic Physician shall emphasize the condition of health to promote well-being and to prevent diseases for the individual, each community and our world.