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Understanding Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct profession of primary health care, emphasizing prevention,
treatment and the promotion of optimal health and well-being through interventions that
encourage the self-healing process, the “vis medicatrix naturae”. Naturopathic Doctors provide
individualized patient care and public education.
Naturopathic practice blends centuries of knowledge of natural, nontoxic therapies with current
advances in the understanding of health and human systems. Our scope of practice includes all
aspects of family and primary care, from pediatrics to geriatrics.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine:
Identification and prevention of the root cause of disease - Underlying
causes of disease are often multi-factorial, such as aspects of the lifestyle, diet or
habits of the individual. A naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove
the underlying causes of illness, rather than merely eliminate or suppress
Encouragement of the body's inherent healing abilities - Naturopathic
physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, to
facilitate and augment the innate self-healing processes.
Natural treatment of the whole person via an individualized approach - Each
patient is treated individually by assessing physical, mental, emotional, spiritual,
genetic, environmental and social factors that impair health and well-being.
Education and promotion of health lifestyles - Naturopaths provide education
and encourage self-responsibility for health, emphasizing that health is not
merely the absence of disease.
Do no harm - Naturopathic physicians utilize methods and medical substances,
which minimize the risk of harmful side effects while attempting to avoid the
harmful suppression of symptoms when possible.
Naturopathic Doctors are the only primary care physicians clinically trained to use
the following natural therapies:
Clinical Nutrition - Many medical conditions can be treated more effectively with
foods and nutritional supplements than they can by other means, with fewer
complications and side effects.
Botanical Medicine - Naturopathic physicians use plant substances for their
healing effects and nutritional value.
Homeopathic Medicine - Homeopathic medicines are very small doses of
natural substances that can stimulate the body’s self-healing response without
producing negative side effects or interactions with other medications.
Traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture - Acupuncture, acupressure,
and Chinese herbal medicine is used to balance Qi (energy) through meridian
pathways to promote healing.
Hydrotherapy – Use of alternating hot and cold water applications to stimulate
circulation, improve lymphatic drainage and aid in detoxification processes.
Lifestyle Counseling and Stress Management - Mental attitudes and
emotional states can be important elements in healing and disease. Naturopathic
physicians are trained in counseling, nutritional balancing and stress
For more information about Naturopathic Medicine,
please contact Dr. Stephanie Jennings, Naturopathic Doctor
at the Maple Shores Health Centre (519-832-4500)