What are the principles of naturopathic medicine?
Naturopathy takes its principles from the Greek philosopher Hippocrates who believed in viewing the person as a whole to identify the cause of disease and in using the laws of nature to bring about a cure. These principles were first used by the Hippocratic School of Medicine, circa 400 B.C.
Naturopathic medicine follows four principles to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects
- Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms.
- Acknowledge and respect the individual's healing process
- Use the least force necessary to diagnose and treat illness.
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent healing ability in the body, which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopaths act to identify and remove obstacles to recovery and to facilitate and augment this ability, using the most natural means possible.
Symptoms are indicators, rather than the cause, of disease. The naturopath seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to eliminate or merely suppress symptoms.
Naturopaths treat each individual by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians may encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual path.
'Docere' is a Latin word meaning 'to teach'. Naturopaths educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health. They empower and motivate the patient and acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.
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RTE Nationwide feature on Herbal medicine, including launch of St. Anne's Physic garden, Jan Keating and the IRH (16:55 minutes in)
23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?
The Skinny on Obesity (Ep. 1): An Epidemic for Every Body
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