Homeopathy is a holistic medical science and as such it addresses the whole person--her life, her genetic background, the cause of her illness. As a healing art, homeopathy goes as far back as any traditional medicine: back to the first time a woman treated her child with what her native land had to offer. Homeopathic remedies are made out of wholesome natural ingredients and, when properly prescribed, can eliminate the underlying cause of disease, thus establishing a healthy balance between an organism and its environment.
Homeopathic medicine is particularly beneficial for little children. Ear infections and colds, sore throats and coughs, colic and diarrhea-can all be treated with homeopathy. A successful treatment of an acute infection lays down a foundation for a healthy immune system that is capable of fighting further infections on its own. Chronic, long term illnesses, on the other hand, require deep constitutional treatment. At the end of the long-term constitutional treatment, as an additional bonus to seeing their child recover, the parents gain a true understanding of their children's characters, their emotional and mental capabilities, and their genetic background. Homeopathic remedy pictures of children's constitutions are fascinating psycho- dynamic portrayals, based on centuries-old knowledge of naturally occurring patterns in health and disease. Full understanding of a child's homeopathic constitution enables parents to reap the benefits of her distinct personality while helping her overcome some inborn difficulties.
Classical homeopathy is different from many other healing disciplines in that it involves a detailed analysis of patient's unique condition and prescription of treatment that is specific to this particular person. In the course of an interview, a homeopathic physician must collect all the relevant information from a patient: a history of presenting complaint, a detailed analysis of its symptoms-including both the patient's experiences and all the relevant clinical tests-past medical history, and even the history of pregnancy and conditions of patient's birth. A family history is also very important to a homeopathic prescriber, because it might reveal the necessary clues to the patient's inherited susceptibilities. The emotional state of a person is of utmost importance in homeopathy, because it might disclose the conditions that led to the development of presenting illness. An experienced practitioner would be able to put together a complete picture of her patient and from that a homeopathic diagnosis which results in prescription of medicine that reflects that diagnosis. Homeopathic medicines are highly effective and can often relieve symptoms in a matter of hours. However, to work that fast, they have to be prescribed with absolute precision which requires years of practice as well as extensive knowledge of both homeopathic medicine and disease pathology.
Homeopathy Practiced by Naturopathic Physicians
WHEREAS homeopathy has been an integral part of naturopathic medicine since its inception and is a recognized specialty for which the naturopathic profession has created a distinct specialty organization, the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians,
WHEREAS homeopathy has been recognized, through rigorous testing and experimentation, as having significant scientific evidence supporting its efficacy and safety.
WHEREAS homeopathic products are being subjected to intensified federal regulations and restrictions,
WHEREAS products are being promoted and marketed as "homeopathic" for a variety of uses ranging from weight-loss aids to immunizations. Many of these preparations are not homeopathic and many have not been satisfactorily proven to be efficacious,
THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that it is the position of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians that:
I. Homeopathy is taught in the Naturopathic Colleges and its practice should be included in the naturopathic licensing laws. Naturopathic physicians recognize other licensed practitioners of the healing arts who are properly trained in homeopathy.
II. The naturopathic profession initiate more clinical trials and provings to further evaluate the effectiveness of homeopathy.
III. Naturopathic physicians be authorized to prescribe and dispense all products included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS).
IV. Homeopathic products be subject to strict labeling requirements. Preparations which are not prepared in accord with the manufacturing principles in the HPUS should not use the term "homeopathic.". If parents choose homeopathic preparations for their children or their wards for the prophylaxis of infectious disease as an alternative to conventional vaccines, the physician should clearly state that they are unproven and that they are not legal substitutes for the state-mandated requirements.
V. Homeopathic prescriptions should be made with careful evaluation of their effect on the entire organism.
Adopted at the 1993 Annual Convention of American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Principal Authors: Michael Traub, Lauri Aesoph, Peggy Rollo, Bruce Dickson, Brent Mathieu, Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, Stephen King, Julian Winston, Louise Edwards, Prudence Broadwell.
Naturopathic medicine, sometimes called "naturopathy," is as old as healing itself and as new as the latest discoveries in biochemical sciences. The word naturopathy was first used in the U.S. just over one hundred years ago. Modern naturopathic physicians are primary health care providers who use therapies that are almost exclusively natural (hence the name naturopathic) and nontoxic. These include clinical nutrition, homeopathy, botanical (herbal) medicine, hydrotherapy, physical medicine, and counseling. Many NDs have additional training and certification in acupuncture and home birthing. In the United States and Canada, the naturopathic medical profession's infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing by a growing number of states, national standards of practice and care, peer review, and an ongoing commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.
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. The following principles are the foundation for the practice of naturopathic medicine:
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic physicians follow three precepts to avoid harming the patient:
- Naturopathic physicians utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful effects, and apply the least possible force or intervention necessary to diagnose illness and restore health.
- Whenever possible the suppression of symptoms is avoided as suppression generally interferes with the healing process.
- Naturopathic physicians respect and work with the vis medicatrix naturae in diagnosis, treatment and counseling, for if this self-healing process is not respected the patient may be harmed.
Doctor As Teacher (Docere)
The original meaning of the word "doctor" is teacher. A principal objective of naturopathic medicine is to educate the patient and emphasize self-responsibility for health. Naturopathic physicians also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person
Health and disease result from a complex of physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development. Naturopathic medicine recognizes the harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual as being essential to health. The multifactorial nature of health and disease requires a personalized and comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment. Naturopathic physicians treat the whole person taking all of these factors into account.
Naturopathic medical colleges emphasize the study of health as well as disease. The prevention of disease and the attainment of optimal health in patients are primary objectives of naturopathic medicine. In practice, these objectives are accomplished through education and the promotion of healthy ways of living. Naturopathic physicians assess risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and make appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine asserts that one cannot be healthy in an unhealthy environment and is committed to the creation of a world in which humanity may thrive.
Naturopathic medicine is defined primarily by its fundamental principles. Methods and modalities are selected and applied based upon these principles in relationship to the individual needs of each patient. Diagnostic and therapeutic methods are selected from various sources and systems and will continue to evolve with the progress of knowledge.
Naturopathic practice includes the following diagnostic and treatment modalities: utilization of all methods of clinical and laboratory diagnostic testing including diagnostic radiology and other imaging techniques; nutritional medicine, dietetics and therapeutic fasting; medicines of mineral, animal and botanical origin; hygiene and public health measures; naturopathic physical medicine including naturopathic manipulative therapies; the use of water, heat, cold, light, electricity, air, earth, electromagnetic and mechanical devices, ultrasound, and therapeutic exercise; homeopathy; acupuncture; psychotherapy and counseling; minor surgery and naturopathic obstetrics (natural childbirth). Naturopathic practice excludes major surgery and the use of most synthetic drugs.
Adopted November 1, 1989, Rippling River Convention of the AANP
What Is A Naturopathic Physician?
A LICENSED naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling (to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in support of their personal health). A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician.