Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct system of primary care that addresses the root cause of illness or disease and promotes health and healing by integrating modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine.
The therapies utilized by Naturopathic Doctors encompass a wide range of safe, gentle and non-invasive systems including clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, environmental and physical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, lifestyle counselling and homoeopathic medicine. Additionally, Dr Lily Hoang employs the modalities of Esoteric Acupuncture and Chi Nei Tsang.
Naturopathic Doctors view health as an experience of wellbeing resulting from a dynamic balance of the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual bodies. On the other hand, disease or illness can arise from a dysfunction or disruption in any of the above processes.
To illustrate the Naturopathic paradigm, we can look to a common condition such as arthritis. Conventionally, arthritis is an inflammatory disorder and therefore it is the inflammation that is treated. Whereas naturopathically, while inflammation is the symptom, the treatment is oriented around addressing the root cause which could be food allergies, emotional or psychological stress, nutritional deficiencies, physical malformations, qi stagnation or a combination thereof.
In understanding the complexities and interplaying of the various processes, the approach to treating any condition becomes more holistic and comprehensive.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic doctors are guided by six fundamental healing principles:
1. First, Do No Harm (primum non nocere) – by providing the most effective health care with the least risk to the patient at all times.
2. Support the Healing Power of Nature (vis medicatrix naturae) – by recognizing and removing obstacles to the individual’s inherent self-healing process.
3. Treat the Cause (tolle causum) – by identifying and removing the underlying cause of illness, rather than suppressing symptoms.
4. Doctor as Teacher (docere) – to teach principles of healthy living and preventative medicine by sharing knowledge with patients and encouraging individual responsibility for health.
5. Treat the Whole Person – by understanding the unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors that contribute to illness and customizing treatment protocols to the patient.
6. Prevention as medicine – to emphasize health as a process and partnering with the patient to assess risk factors and recommend appropriate naturopathic interventions to maintain health and prevent illness.