What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is a system of primary health care medicine that is dedicated to celebrating the healing power of nature. Naturopathic Medicine physicians incorporate a variety of philosophies across several different traditions but place a focus on the interconnectedness of all living things. Within the Naturopathic Medicine profession, there are six core principles that differentiate Naturopathic beliefs from Allopathic or Western Medicine. The six principles of Naturopathic Medicine are to...
Do No Harm
Recognize the Healing Power of Nature
Identify and Treat the Causes and Obstacles
Allow the Doctor to Act As the Teacher
Treat the Whole Individual
Prevent Illness and Suffering
Why don't I know Naturopathic Medicine?
Although Naturopathic Medicine was brought to the United States from Europe in the early 1800s, it combines traditional, century-old methods of medicine with modern science. Alternatively, biomedicine, or allopathic medicine began quite recently. One may say that the reductionist model of our $1.3 trillion health care industry today began with Louis Pasteur's Germ theory in the early 1890s: all disease is a product of biological defect that is initiated by a biological pathogen. Unfortunately, this model excludes illnesses that cannot be explained in biological terms.
For the past 200 years, the Biomedical / Allopathic model has been incredibly successful. In the early 1900s, the leading causes of death were tuberculosis, pneumonia, influenza, and diarrhea. Pasteur's germ theory largely eliminated these infectious diseases, and by the end of the 20th century people were instead dying from chronic illness like cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Life expectancy drastically increased over the century, and we have the germ theory to thank.
Likewise, present day medical tests and scans fail to provide lasting solutions. In looking at the systems of medicine that have kept our species alive for thousands of centuries, and combining those practices with modern day medicine and the technological advancements of the 20th and 21st centuries, Naturopathic Medicine is birthed. Both Naturopathic Medicine and CAM include using and prescribing therapies like mindfulness and meditation, diet and nutrition, homeopathy, herbal and botanical medicine, yoga, massage, reiki, reflexology, Ayurvedic medicine, and Traditional Chinese Medicine to name a few.
There are currently six licensed Naturopathic Medical Colleges across North America (US & Canada) with a total of seven campuses. Licensed Naturopathic Doctors attend four-year, graduate-level Naturopathic Medical Schools and are educated in all of the same basic sciences as licensed MDs, but study additional holistic and non-toxic approaches to prevent dis-ease and optimize wellness. To read more about Naturopathic Medicine, visit the AANMC, the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, website https://aanmc.org/.