Naturopathy is a distinct system of complementary and traditional medicine. As a discipline, it is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an emerging model of primary care.
Naturopathy is a science-based collage of natural therapies such as nutritional therapy, herbalism and physical therapies used to treat various ailments and conditions. Naturopathy encourages the body to self-heal and self-cleanse through positive health practices. Naturopathy is truly a multidisciplinary practice and treats the whole person. The emphasis is on achieving good health by addressing the underlying causes and taking an integrated approach to healthcare. By investigating diet and lifestyle, suitable preventative measures can be found, based on the patient’s needs.
The therapeutic relationship between patient and practitioner is a true partnership, where the practitioner not only teaches and encourages but also motivates the patient, to make positive health choices, thereby empowering the patient to take responsibility for their health by adopting a healthy attitude to diet and lifestyle.
Naturopathic medicine is the first choice for patients with general (non-emergency) healthcare needs. A typical visit will last up to an hour. The “patient-practitioner” relationship begins with a thorough Naturopathic assessment – which generally follows the biomedical model- with a reliance on medical history, physical exam, laboratory evaluation and other well established procedures. The assessment will also be informed by additional models (e.g. biopsychosocial model; functional medicine model) depending on the orientation of the practitioner, to provide a truly integrative therapeutic experience. Once a good understanding of the patient’s health and disease status is established, then the practitioner and patient will work together to establish a treatment and health promoting program that will be reviewed at set times.