Dr. Sonya Carl - What is Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine.

Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) seek to restore health and promote wellness using a variety of natural medicines and treatments combined with conventional medical diagnostics and standards.

NDs practice truly integrated medicine. They are the only primary care doctors who are clinically trained in both natural and conventional medicine. Naturopathic Doctors attend accredited four-year graduate-level medical schools. NDs are trained in the same medical sciences as MDs, including the latest advances in medicine, with a focus on natural approaches to treatment.

NDs believe that the body has the innate potential to heal and repair itself. Symptoms are seen as a warning sign of a deeper imbalance in the functioning and repair mechanisms of the body. Disease is seen as a process rather than as an entity. To achieve true and lasting health, the individual must be treated; not only their symptoms.

Diagnosis is focused on identifying the underlying causes of disease, and therapies are supported by 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.

Naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient - their physiological, psychological, social, environmental and lifestyle factors. In addition to diet and lifestyle recommendations, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, and traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, may also be prescribed.

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.

NDs are the only regulated health professionals in the field of natural medicine in Ontario.

Naturopathic Medicine is founded on the following principles:

  • First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
    Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
  • The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
    Trust in the body's inherent wisdom to heal itself.
  • Identify and Treat the Cause (Tolle Causam)
    Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause.
  • Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
    Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
  • Treat the Whole Person (Tolle Totum)
    View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions.
  • Prevention is the best Cure
    Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.

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