"Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process. The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods."
- American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
In Arizona, Naturopathic medical doctors must undergo several years of education and training in general medical diagnostics, pharmacology, and standard of care practices, along with many evidence-based alternative therapies such as clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture, and infusion therapy to name just a few.
However, our training in alternative therapies is not what sets Naturopathic doctors apart from conventional doctors. It is our principles; the guidelines on how we practice our medicine and how we approach dis-ease.
The 6 Principles of Naturopathy
The Healing Power of Nature: We believe in the innate self-healing ability in people which is purposeful and intelligent. We identify and remove obstacles to healing, and support this inherent self-healing process.
Identify & Treat the Causes: We seek to identify & remove underlying causes of illness rather than merely eliminating or suppressing symptoms. I also seek not only to address physical causes, but also mental, emotional, spiritual, & energetic causes with my patients.
First Do No Harm: There are 3 guidelines we follow to avoid harming our patients. First, we utilize methods & medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects as well as using the least force necessary to diagnose & treat. Second, we avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms. And third, customizing treatments for each individual allows us to minimize risks by taking into consideration an individual’s differences in absorption, metabolism, and excretion.
Doctor as Teacher: We educate our patients & encourage healthy accountability through nutrition and lifestyle. We also recognize & employ the therapeutic potential of doctor-patient relationship while encouraging connections within the patient’s local community. Learning empowers us and learning together motivates us, leading to strengthening of our communities.
Treat the Whole Person: We treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, & other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.