Talia Marcheggiani | Gaiamtv
Contrary to common belief, naturopathic doctors are not just doctors who prescribe natural remedies to patients. (This means that a visit to the health food store is not a substitute for advice from a licensed healthcare practitioner!) After all, as previously “naturopathic” therapies invade scientific literature, more up-to-date medical doctors are prescribing things like fish oil and probiotics to their patients.
However, this doesn’t make them naturopathic doctors any more than prescribing rights make us medical doctors! Naturopathic doctors differ from the traditional medical model, not so much in what we prescribe or our principles (do no harm, treat the whole person, prevent disease, doctor as teacher, support the body, treat the cause), which medical doctors arguably share with us, but in something called the Therapeutic Order.
The Therapeutic Order is a hierarchy that governs a naturopathic doctor’s clinical decision-making. It begins by offering minimally invasive therapies aimed at supporting the body and ends in more invasive procedures such as chemical therapies and surgery.
REMOVE OBSTACLES TO HEALTH
Naturopathic medicine begins by creating the conditions for health through focusing on lifestyle factors that contribute to our health and well-being. This involves cleaning up the diet and promoting healthy eating, ensuring adequate and restful sleep, managing stress, fostering healthy relationships and social support, fresh air and clean water, adequate movement, encouraging the pursuit of hobbies and passions and even supporting spiritual and moral fulfillment. Setting the foundations for optimal health is the first step in managing or preventing disease and promoting a lifetime of health and happiness.
STIMULATE THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE
Sometimes, a long-term lack of a proper health foundation, genetic disposition, environmental factors, prolonged significant stress or long-standing, chronic disease can result in a weakening of the vital force. Before you scoff at the term, keep in mind that all medical systems, traditional or otherwise have a name for this pervasive healing force. In Ayurveda it is called prana, traditional Chinese medicine has Qi, homeopathy refers to it as wesen, monotheistic religions refer to it as God, conventional medicine or the biological sciences call it homeostasis or, perhaps, metabolism. In naturopathic medicine this healing power is called just that, The Healing Power of Nature or, in Latin, the Vis Medicatrix Naturae.
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