Naturopathic medicine (sometimes called "naturopathy") is a distinct system of primary health care that emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process through the use of natural therapies. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) blend centuries-old knowledge and a philosophy that nature is the most effective healer with current research on health and human systems.
Naturopathic diagnosis is focused on identifying the underlying causes of disease, while naturopathic therapies are supported by research drawn from peer-reviewed journals from many disciplines, including naturopathic medicine, conventional medicine, European complementary medicine, clinical nutrition, phytotherapy, pharmacognosy, homeopathy, psychology and spirituality.
The therapeutic modalities used in naturopathic medicine (including physical manipulation, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy and hydrotherapy) integrate conventional, scientific and empirical methodology with the ancient laws of nature. The underpinnings of naturopathic medical practice are in six principles (see a more detailed description):
• First Do No Harm - primum non nocere
• The Healing Power of Nature - vis medicatrix naturae
• Discover and Treat the Cause, Not Just the Effect - tolle causam
• Treat the Whole Person - tolle totum
• The Physician is a Teacher - docere
• Prevention is the best "cure" - praevenire