What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct profession of primary health care, emphasizing prevention, treatment and the promotion of optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and modalities, which encourage the body’s own self-healing process, the vis medicatrix naturæ. The philosophical approach of naturopathic medicine includes prevention of disease, encouragement of the body’s inherent healing abilities, natural treatment of the whole person, personal responsibility for one’s health, and education of patients in health-promting lifestyles. Naturopathic practice blends centuries-old knowledge of natural, nontoxic therapies with current advances in the understanding of health and human systems.
Naturopathic diagnosis and therapeutics are supported by scientific research drawn from peer-reviewed journals from many disciplines, including naturopathic medicine, conventional medicine, European complementary medicine, clinical nutrition, phytotherapy, pharmacognosy, homeopathy, psychology and spirituality. Information technology and new concepts in clinical outcomes assessment are particularly well suited to evaluating the effectiveness of naturopathic treatment protocols and are being used in research, both at naturopathic medical schools and in the offices of practicing physicians. Clinical research into natural therapies has become an increasingly important focus for naturopathic physicians.