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Definition Of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care - an art, science, philosophy and practice of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illness. Naturopathic medicine is distinguished by the principles which underlie and determine its practice. These principles are based upon the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in the light of scientific advances. Methods used are consistent with these principles and are chosen upon the basis of patient individuality. Naturopathic physicians are primary health care practitioners, whose diverse techniques include modern and traditional, scientific and empirical methods.

Definition Of A Naturopathic Doctor

Diagnoses, treats, and cares for patients, using system of practice that bases treatment of physiological functions and abnormal conditions on natural laws governing human body: Utilizes physiological, psychological, and mechanical methods, such as air, water, light, heat, earth, phytotherapy, food and herb therapy, psychotherapy, electrotherapy, physiotherapy, mechanotherapy, naturopathic corrections and manipulation, and natural methods or modalities, together with natural medicines natural processed foods, and herbs and nature's remedies. Excludes major surgery, therapeutic use of x-ray and radium, and use of drugs, except those assimilable substances containing elements or compounds of body tissues and are physiologically compatible to body processes for maintenance of life.

Naturopaths may use the following methods in their treatments;

Clinical nutrition

The use of diet as a therapy serves as the foundation of naturopathic medicine. There is an ever-increasing body of knowledge that supports the use of whole foods and nutritional supplements in the maintenance of health and treatment of disease. Nutritional therapy focuses on using nutrients like vitamins, minerals and amino acids in appropriate doses.

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Biochemic remedies

'Biochemic remedies' are preparations of minerals commonly prescribed by naturopaths. Generally, 'Celloids' follow the principles of 'The Biochemic School of Medicine' of Schuessler (Chapman, 1973). This use of biochemic remedies is based on the concept that many disorders stem from mineral deficiencies in the diet which may arise directly, or as a result of eating vegetables and fruits from plants grown on soil deficient in essential minerals.

It is claimed of 'Celloids' and other biochemic remedies that they are manufactured in such a way that the absorption of the minerals into the body is facilitated, but there is no evidence for this.

Schuessler's use of the term 'biochemic' is not to be confused with the science of biochemistry; it simply means the 'chemicals of life', and comprises the following twelve substances:

  • calcium fluoride
  • calcium phosphate
  • calcium sulphate
  • ferrous phosphate
  • potassium chloride
  • potassium monohydrogen phosphate
  • potassium sulphate
  • magnesium hydrogen phosphate
  • sodium chloride
  • sodium monohydrogen phosphate
  • sodium sulphate
  • silicon dioxide

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Herbal medicine

Plants have been used as medicines since antiquity. In this programme special herbal formulas are selected depending on your individual condition.

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Physical medicine

Physical medicine refers to the use of physical measures in the treatment of disease. These include: therapeutic exercise, massage, osteopathic joint mobilization and immobilization techniques. Its also includes Applied Kinesiology and Cranio-Sacral Therapy.

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Naturopaths also use simple and complex homeopathy in their practice.

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Counselling and Lifestyle Modification

Counseling and lifestyle modification techniques are essential. Various treatment measures including hypnosis and guided imagery, counseling techniques, correction of underlying psychological factors, and family therapy. The extent by which consciousness can affect control over the body is remarkable. Biofeedback research, for example, has shown that individuals can learn to control brainwave activity, affect cardiovascular and respiratory functioning, reduce skin temperature, and voluntarily modify many other autonomic processes of the body.

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