Naturopathy is a natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the integrity of the whole person. Naturopathic Medicine represents the “vitalistic” tradition of medicine. That is, it treats disease through the stimulation, promotion, and support of the body’s inherent healing capacity. These treatments are chosen to work with the patient’s vital force, respecting the natural healing processes of nature.
The practice of Naturopathic Medicine includes six underlying principles of healing. These are based on the observation of health and disease. This observation process involves the use of modern scientific methodologies and language. The following principles make Naturopathic Medicine different from all other medical approaches:
First do no harm: Primum Non Nocere
Illness is a purposeful process of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the life force attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complementary to and synergistic with this healing process. The physician’s actions can support or antagonize the actions of the vis mediatrix naturae – the healing power of Nature. Therefore, methods designed to suppress symptoms without removing the underlying causes are considered harmful and to be avoided or minimized.
The healing power of nature: Vis Mediatrix Naturae
The body has an inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician’s role is to facilitate this process, to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to establish or restore a healthy internal and external environment.
Identify and treat the cause: Tolle Causam
Illness does not occur without cause. Underlying causes of disease must be discovered and removed or treated before a person can recover completely from illness. Symptoms express the body’s attempt to heal, but are not the cause of disease. Symptoms, therefore, should not be suppressed by treatment. Causes may occur on many levels including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The physician must evaluate fundamental underlying causes on all levels, directing treatment at root causes rather than at symptomatic expression.
Heal the whole person: Tolle Totum
Health and disease are conditions of the whole organism, a whole involving the complex interaction of many factors. The naturopathic physician must treat the whole person by taking these factors into account. The harmonious functioning of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects are essential to recovery from and prevention of disease. This requires a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.
The physician as teacher: Docere
A cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value. The physician’s major role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for their own health. The physician is a catalyst for healthful change, empowering and motivating the patient to assume responsibility. It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately creates/accomplishes healing. Teaching with hope, knowledge, and understanding, the physician acts to enable patients to heal.
Prevention is the best cure: praevenire
The ultimate goal of any health care system should be prevention of disease. This is accomplished through education and promotion of life-habits that create good health. The physician learns to assess risk factors and to sharpen their deductive reasoning, and understand the patient’s circumstances. Appropriate interventions are then sought to avoid further harm or risk to the patient. Building health works better and more surely than fighting disease.
The Key-points of Naturopathic Philosophy are as under:
- All diseases, their cause and treatment are one. Except for traumatic and environmental conditions, the cause of all diseases is one i.e. accumulation of morbid matter in the body and their elimination from the body is treatment.
- The primary cause of disease is not bacteria or virus. Bacteria and virus enter and survive in the body only after the accumulation of morbid matter when a favorable atmosphere for their growth is established in body. Hence, the basic cause is morbid matter, not the bacteria. They are the secondary causes.
- Acute diseases are self-healing effort of the body. Hence, they are our friends, not the enemy. Chronic diseases are outcome of wrong treatment and suppression of the acute diseases.
- Nature is the greatest healer. Body has a capacity to prevent itself from disease and regain health if unhealthy.
- In Naturopathy, patient is treated and not the disease.
- Patients suffering from chronic ailments are also treated successfully in comparatively less time by Naturopathy.
- After emerging, suppressed diseases can be cured by Naturopathy.
- Naturopathy treats all the aspects like physical, mental, social and spiritual at the same time.
- Naturopathy treats body as a whole instead of giving treatment to each organ separately.
- Naturopathy does not use medicine. According to Naturopathy, “Food is Medicine”.
- According to Gandhiji “Rama Nama is the best Natural Treatment”, means doing prayer according to one’s spiritual faith is an important part of treatment.