Naturopathic medicine is a distinct and comprehensive healthcare* system that uses holistic, non-toxic therapies including herbal medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, physical medicine, and lifestyle counseling to prevent disease, to address the root cause of illness, and to support the body’s inherent healing capacity.
A Naturopathic approach focuses on identifying the underlying causes of diseases such as Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease, Asthma, Allergies, Obesity, Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia, etc. It utilizes the power of authentic natural healing practices such as clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, physical medicine, and lifestyle counseling.
At a time when advanced technology, environmental pollution, poor diet, and stress all play a major role in contributing to overall worsening health conditions, a Naturopathic focus on rebalancing the body and mind by applying natural methods of healing is of significant importance. A comprehensive approach, recognizing the most current medical research and technology and merging it with centuries old wisdom, is the way the modern ND seeks balance.
Naturopathy’s philosophy includes 6 core principles, shown here in bold. Below each is an explanation of how they can be of use to all of us in everyday life:
1. First Do No Harm
The body is a gift, and should be treated as gently as possible. A deep respect for our life and the life around us is of great importance. When we begin to respect our own value, we can then extend that respect to the greater world around us. When we choose to treat ourselves well, we not only understand how to most effectively get our needs met, but also can then freely acknowledge the value in others by choosing to “do no harm”. The means choosing to live life with compassion rather than fear.
2. Trust the Healing Power of Nature
The human body has incredible intelligence, which is mirrored throughout nature as an ordered process that seeks to maintain homeostasis through continual cycles of birth, growth, change, and rebirth. The elements of nature provide our physical needs for survival such as water, minerals, vitamins, the oxygen we breathe and much more. Because we are a part of this ongoing process of change, connecting with nature can often bring us profound wisdom and healing.
3. Treat the Cause
The cause of ill health or distress may occur on the physical, mental-emotional, or spiritual level. At times this cause may be obvious, such as an acute injury, infection, or allergic reaction. If not so obvious, one should seek to understand underlying causes of distress rather than ignore and suppress what the body is trying to express, causing more pain. Sometimes daily exposure to things we may not notice such as environmental toxins, processed foods, or even an unhealthy relationship can be overlooked as a cause of disease that needs to be addressed.
4. The Physician is a Teacher
The goal of anyone in a health profession should be to share knowledge and guidance in order to empower those seeking support to find confidence in their own ability to create an ultimate experience of health and well-being. It is always the individual who does the healing.
5. Treat the Whole Person
Our physical bodies are made up of a system of interconnected parts and processes. The health of the whole organism is reliant on the health of each individual part, so addressing only one part without regard for the whole will never lead to true healing. Every person has a unique story that informs where they are, and every person will have a unique pathway on their healing journey.
6. Prevention is Key
Disease processes are more difficult to reverse or cure once they have taken root. As such, prevention of disease is an extremely important goal and can be viewed as the best “cure”. It is important to pay attention to ways that the body is expressing something before the disease process occurs. Also the value of providing the body with the right nutrients and proper basic needs such as sleep, fresh air, exercise, and emotional expression is immense in preventing future health challenges.
* Note: the scope of Naturopathy as health care varies widely across North America depending upon legal constructs in a particular state. This is also true of Naturopathy practice internationally.
Outside of a legally defined medical practice, the principles and philosophy of Naturopathy themselves are a truly powerful foundation for a life of wellness. These are the values we want to share with you.
Wellness packages are designed to support you and your health and are not designed to replace any medical treatment. The information contained on the Doctor and Chef Web site and in care packages is presented for educational purposes. None of it is meant to be construed nor is intended to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other certified health care provider before making any changes to your medical care plan. Ashley Boudet has a license to practice medicine only in the State of Oregon, U.S.A., and otherwise is not in a position to provide clinical care. Her role is to be supportive and educational.
“We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.”
– Mary Dunbar