The guiding principles of naturopathic medicine

One thing that really attracted me to the field of naturopathic medicine is the philosophy of practice.  These are the guiding principles of naturopathic medicine:

1. First do no harm – I always choose the least invasive, safest and yet effective forms of treatment with my patients.  I also try to avoid suppressing a symptom which can lead to further complications or more serious disease.

2. Identify and treat the cause – most often people complain of symptoms on the physical or mental/emotional plane.  Usually a person’s chief complaint for seeking help is a signal from the body that something else is not right.  Through detailed questions about the history of the symptom we are usually able to figure out the cause.  For example, someone recently asked me what the cause of the skin rash eczema is.  I told him that many people have the symptom of eczema but the cause is different for each person.  Some possible causes of ezcema are environmental exposure to something irritating the skin (like a change in laundry detergent or body lotion), it could be an issue of diet where the person is not ingesting the appropriate nutrients to maintain skin health, it may be genetic factors, it may be a stressful event or a change in life situation, it may be an issue with the digestive tract or perhaps a reaction to a pharmaceutical or botanical medicine.  As you can see, determining the underlying cause of the ezcema would then determine the treatment approach based on the needs of the individual.

3. Support healing power of nature – everybody knows if they bump their knee and get a bruise, the body inherently knows how to heal the bruise without intervention from the outside.  Naturopathic doctors believe that this innate ability to heal applies to every health condition and we support this natural process with our treatments as well as identify and remove obstacles to achieving cure.

4. Treat the whole person – Although it is important to isolate parts of a person in order to study specific disease processes, it should not be forgotten that all parts of a person are constantly communicating through thoughts, emotions, neural impulses and chains of chemical reactions.  It is important to remember the interconnectedness of the mind, emotions, physical body, external environment, genetics and social relationships of a person in treatment.  Naturopathic doctors do not treat disease, we treat people who are expressing disease.

5. Doctor as teacher – I really like this principle because I love empowering my patients through knowledge of how they can implement healthy habits today.  Therefore over the long run they can prevent disease in the future.  Educating patients about their healthcare options, the importance of regular screening and blood tests, and symptoms which they definitely should see a doctor about is a great way to help patients become aware and proactive  their health.

6. Disease prevention and health promotion – The previous principle of ‘doctor as teacher’ leads into this principle very nicely.  By teaching patients healthy habits in order to prevent disease, they can live longer, healthier lives and there will be less of a strain on the overburdened  healthcare system.  I believe its important to emphasize preventive medicine in order to decrease the rising cost of reactive medicine.

About drellensimonend
Dr. Simone strongly believes that the mind and body are connected to your overall health and wellness. As a primary health care provider, her practice provides ongoing support throughout your healing journey. Her role as your Naturopathic Doctor is to assist you in discovering your needs, support you in personal growth and help you reach your health and wellness goals. With the belief that happiness and balance is possible for everyone, Dr. Simone strives to help her patients live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. Dr. Simone focuses on family wellness and has special interests in women and children’s health. She has experience with reproductive health, working with women through different phases in their lives; to regulate the menstrual cycle, ease PMS symptoms, optimize fertility, provide support during and after pregnancy, maintain breast health and welcome menopause. Children have also been a primary focus in Dr. Simone’s life in both her professional role as a naturopath and in her volunteer work. She believes that setting healthy habits at a young age can be critical for long-term health and wellness.

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