Naturopathic Medicine is a system of diagnosing, treating and preventing disease without the use of drugs or surgery. This is accomplished through education, common diagnostic medical procedures and the integrated use of therapies that promote the individual's Inherent Self-Healing Processes or Ability (The Vital Force or the Vis Medicatrix Naturae) which is the foundation of naturopathic philosophy and practice. Every living cell in the body is endowed with an instinct of self preservation which is sustained by an inherent force called the "Vital force of Life". Hippocrates stated that the "Vital Force" or "Vis Medicatrix Naturae" within each of us is the greatest force in helping us to heal or get well. In modern physiological terms, "Homeostasis", the process through which all body equilibrium is maintained (i.e., body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar etc.) is analogous to the "Vital Force".
Naturopaths seek to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery in order to facilitate and augment these inherent self-healing processes. In order to identify underlying causes, a holistic view of the patient must be employed, taking into account the complex integration of the person, including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, genetic, environmental and social aspects. Hence, a patient-centred form of health-care is incorporated.
Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine are primary health care practitioners (no referrals are required), and like allopathic/medical doctors, are trained to diagnose and treat acute and chronic health problems.
Naturopathic Doctors use a variety of natural methods and medicaments to support and stimulate the body's Inherent Self-Healing Processes or Ability. They view the individual patient as an integral whole and as such address the "total person", and regard symptoms of disease as warning signals of improper functions of the body and unfavourable lifestyles.
The goal of Naturopathic Medicine is to identify and remove the obstacles to healing and recovery, to treat the underlying causes of illness (rather than suppress symptoms) and educate the patient of their own personal responsibility with respect to their health.
Naturopathic Doctors provide treatments such as acupuncture, bio-energetic (EAV, Vega, etc.) assessments and treatment, botanical (herbal) medicine, clinical nutrition, cold laser therapy, homeopathic medicine, hydrotherapy, lifestyle counseling, physical medicine and various laboratory tests etc.