World over there has been a shift in health care professionals towards considering the mental, emotional, social & spiritual components of one's personality into mainstream medical practice which is focusing grossly on physical health.
Though Naturopathy is an old age Indian System of Medicine, as an upcoming branch of medical science, it has started gaining recognition in the recent years. There are handful of colleges imparting medical education in Naturopathy and Yoga in India. At the same time, many countries in the world have shown clear inclination in adopting Naturopathic medical stream as a recognized system of treatment.
Naturopathic medicine (also known as Naturopathy) is a school of medical philosophy and practice that seeks to improve health and treat disease chiefly by assisting the body's innate self-healing capacity to recover from illness and injury. In the present day situation, there is an increase in awareness towards this alternative medicine as well as increased population of people opting for Naturopathy among all the other alternative medicines for healthcare for the specific reason that this is a drugless system of Medicine.
The positive attitude of the population as well as their openness in informing their General Practitioner about their willingness to undergone Naturopathic treatment is because of the versatility of this stream of medicine to effectively deliver quality and safe healthcare.
Naturopathic medicine concentrates on whole-person wellness; it specifically design prescription to the patient and emphasizes on prevention and self-care. Naturopathic medicine attempts to find the underlying cause of the patient's condition rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment. Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all other branches of medical science, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.
Naturopathic doctors are holistic health care physicians clinically trained in natural therapeutics with a philosophy derived in part from a Hippocratic teaching more than 2000 years old: Vis medicatrix naturae – nature is the healer of all diseases. Their practice is based on the same basic bio-medical science foundation as that of allopathic practice. However, their philosophies and approaches diff er considerably from their conventional counterparts.
Naturopathic doctors diagnose disease and treat patients by using natural modalities such as physical manipulation, clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, counseling, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy, among others. They choose treatment based on the individual patient, not based on the generality of symptoms. This approach has proven successful in treating both chronic and acute conditions. The precepts that guide the practice of naturopathic medicine include the Seven Principles of Naturopathic Medicine, The Therapeutic Order, and The Components of Patient Centered Care.
- Exploring the disease and the patient's illness experience
- Understanding the whole person
- Finding common ground with the patient regarding Management / treatment options
- Incorporating prevention and health promotion
- Enhancing the doctor-patient relationship
- Being realistic
These seven principles guide the therapeutic methods and modalities of naturopathic medicine.
First Do No Harm – primum non nocere
Naturopathic medicine uses therapies that are safe and effective.
The Healing Power of Nature – vis medicatrix naturae
The human body possesses the inherent ability to restore health. The physician's role is to facilitate this process with the aid of natural, nontoxic therapies.
Discover and Treat the Cause, Not Just the Effect – tolle causam
Physicians seek and treat the underlying cause of a disease. Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body's natural attempt to heal. The origin of disease is removed or treated so the patient can recover.
Treat the Whole Person – tolle totum
The multiple factors in health and disease are considered while treating the whole person. Physicians provide flexible treatment programs to meet individual health care needs.
The Physician is a Teacher – docere
The physician's major role is to educate, empower, and motivate patients to take responsibility for their own health. Creating a healthy, cooperative relationship with the patient has a strong therapeutic value.
Prevention is the best “cure” – praevenire
Naturopathic physicians are preventive medicine specialists. Physicians assess patient risk factors and heredity susceptibility and intervene appropriately to reduce risk and prevent illness. Prevention of disease is best accomplished through education and a lifestyle that supports health.
Wellness – Salus
Establish or re-establish health and well-being.
- Re-establish the basis for health
- Stimulate the healing power of nature
- Tonify weakened systems
- Correct structural integrity
- Prescribe specific natural therapies and substances for pathological condition