We treat the cause . . . not the symptom
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
ONE PATIENT’S STORY
“Our son was 11 years old when he started having night time anxiety. He was a pretty normal kid so the anxiety seemed to come out of the blue.
We suspected that perhaps he was reacting to something he was eating. His PCP ordered food allergy testing which came back negative.
A friend recommended seeing Jeanie Anderson at The Hormone Center. She muscle tested him for food sensitivities which are different from food allergies.
It turned out he was reacting to specific red and yellow dyes, aspartame/artificial sweeteners, and dairy. Taking him off these items was difficult because it’s hard to find foods that DON’T have these ingredients. Some of what we did involved switching the cereals he was eating and he now uses rice milk instead of skim.
I’m glad to report that taking him off these items resulted in his anxiety symptoms going away and they’ve not returned. I don’t quite understand how it all worked. I just know that they worked for us.”
– Robin L.
Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is a system based on the healing power of nature. Naturopathy is a holistic system, meaning that naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) strive to find the cause of disease by understanding the body, mind, and spirit of the person.
There are two areas of focus in naturopathy:
• Support the body’s own healing abilities
• Empower patients to make lifestyle changes for optimal health
Naturopathic practitioners use many different treatment approaches. Examples include:
• Dietary and lifestyle changes
• Stress reduction and stress coping mechanisms
• Herbs and other dietary supplements
• Manipulative therapies
• Exercise therapy
• Practitioner-guided detoxification
• Psychotherapy and counseling
• Muscle testing for food and environmental sensitivities
According to The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the following principals are the foundation for naturopathic practice:
The Healing Power of Nature
The body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent. The naturopath’s role is to facilitate and augment this process, to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
Identify and Treat the Cause
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 are expressions of the body’s attempt to heal, but are not the cause of disease. Causes may occur on many levels, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
First Do No Harm
The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms. Therapeutic actions should be complementary to and synergistic with this healing process. Therefore, methods designed to suppress symptoms without removing underlying causes are considered harmful and are avoided or minimized.
Treat the Whole Person
Health and disease are conditions of the whole organism, involving a complex interaction of physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social factors. The naturopath must treat the whole person by taking all of these factors into account. The harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual is essential to recovery from and prevention of disease, and requires a personalized and comprehensive approach.
The Naturopath as Teacher
The naturopath must work to create a healthy, sensitive interpersonal relationship with the patient. A cooperative relationship has inherent therapeutic value. The naturopath’s major role is to serve as a catalyst for healthful change, empowering, educating and motivating the patient to assume responsibility. It is the patient who ultimately creates or accomplishes healing.
The ultimate goal of naturopathic medicine is prevention. This is accomplished through education and promotion of lifestyle habits that foster good health. The naturopath assesses risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and makes appropriate interventions to avoid further harm and risk to the patient. The emphasis is on building health rather than on fighting disease. Because it is difficult to be healthy in an unhealthy world, it is the responsibility of both naturopath and patient to create a healthier environment in which to live.
* In the state of Pennsylvania, Naturopathic Doctors do not diagnose medical conditions or prescribe