Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are licensed, primary care physicians in the state of Oregon.
Naturopathic medicine is based on the understanding that the human body has an innate ability to heal when obstacles are removed and proper building blocks for healing are provided. Naturopathic doctors help their patients with diet, exercise, lifestyle changes as well as other supportive natural therapies to enhance their bodies’ ability to heal and prevent disease.
Naturopathic medicine encompasses functional medicine and approaches the patient as a complex, interrelated system, not simply as a diagnosis label or as a single diseased part. As Naturopathic physicians we craft comprehensive treatment plans for our patients that blend cutting edge modern medical science with traditional natural medicine therapies.
Naturopathic physicians base their practice on six timeless principles:
Let nature heal. Our bodies have such a powerful, innate instinct for self-healing. By finding and removing the barriers to this self-healing—such as poor diet or unhealthy habits—naturopathic physicians can nurture this process.
Identify and treat causes. Naturopathic physicians understand that symptoms will always return unless the root cause of the illness is addressed. Rather than cover up symptoms, they seek to find and treat the cause of these symptoms.
First, do no harm. This is an essential part of the Hippocratic Oath that all physicians take. Naturopathic doctors like all physicians must keep this principle front and center when working with patients.
Educate patients. Naturopathic medicine believes that doctors must be educators, as well as physicians. That’s why naturopathic physicians teach their patients how to eat, exercise, relax and nurture themselves physically and emotionally. They also encourage self-responsibility and work closely with each patient.
Treat the whole person. We each have a unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual makeup. The naturopathic physician knows that all these factors affect our health. That’s why he or she includes them in a carefully tailored treatment strategy.
Prevent illness. ”An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been truer. Proactive medicine saves money, pain, misery and lives. That’s why naturopathic physicians evaluate risk factors, heredity and vulnerability to disease. By getting treatment for greater wellness, we’re less likely to need treatment for future illness.
In Naturopathic medicine, as well as in Chinese medicine, health is achieved by maintaining or restoring a “balanced state” to the body; disease is due to an internal imbalance.