NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE  

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FALSE ALARMS

Naturopathic Medicine is the medical science of nature. It is a system of natural healing that sees the body as a whole and each person as an individual. Naturopathy integrates the latest discoveries in biochemistry, physiology and diagnostic advancements with the prescription of nutritional, herbal and homeopathic medicines and healing techniques that work in harmony with the body to stimulate and enhance the body’s dynamic healing mechanisms to cure disease and restore vibrant health.

The origins of Naturopathic Medicine date back to 1882 when Dr. Benedict Lust, who is considered the father of Naturopathic Medicine, came to America from Germany, Dr. Lust obtained degrees as a Medical Doctor, an Osteopathic Doctor, a Homeopathic Doctor and a Chiropractor. He saw the tremendous value and great need to combine the best of all of these medical fields into one, and therefore, established the first Naturopathic Medical School, in New York in 1895.

The word "Naturopathy" was taken from the Greek word “naturae," meaning natural or innate, and "pathos," meaning suffering, to emphasize the fact that the body has a natural innate ability to heal itself and overcome the symptoms of suffering.

The word "Physician," taken from the Greek root “physicke”meaning “the science of nature,” was used by Hippocrates to remind every practitioner of medicine that “Natural forces are the healers of disease,” and that doctors should “be skilled in Nature." Naturopathic Medical Doctors still believe this principle and are the only physicians licensed to prescribe both natural medicines as well as conventional drugs.

Licensed Naturopathic Physicians complete four years of post-graduate medical training, including two years of clinical internship.

The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

First Do No Harm Primum non nocere

 

Naturopathic physicians prefer natural, non-invasive treatments, which minimize the risks of harmful side effects. Prescription drugs are used rarely and only as a secondary measure for a short-term acute intervention when the body is too weak to respond, or while other safer more natural therapies take effect.

The Hipoccratic Oath states, “ I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.“

Naturopathic Physicians still consider this Oath to be their primary guiding principle.

 

 

The Healing Power of Nature Vis medicatrix naturae

 

Naturopathic physicians understand that it is nature that is the real healer – not doctors, drugs or surgery. Nature cures through the body’s inherent healing mechanisms. When supported it can maintain and restore phenomenal health. Naturopathic physicians seek to support and enhance these natural healing systems by using medicines and techniques that work in harmony with body and are free of harmful side-effects.

 

 

Find the Cause Tolle Causam

 

Every illness has an underlying cause, often in aspects of the lifestyle, diet or habits of the individual. Naturopathic Physicians are trained to find and remove the underlying cause of a disease. Symptoms are expressions of the body's attempt to heal, they are not the cause of disease and therefore should not be suppressed by treatment. Underlying causes of disease must be discovered and treated before a person can recover completely from illness.

 

 

Treat the Whole Person Tolle totum

 

Health or disease comes from a complex interaction of physical, mental, emotional, dietary, genetic, environmental, lifestyle, and other factors. Naturopathic physicians treat the whole person, taking all of these factors into account. This is the essence of General practice – Family medicine. Naturopathic physicians can usually find the underlying cause of disease because they are trained to look at the whole person and the intricacies and interrelationships of every system of the whole person.

 

 

Doctor as Teacher Docere

 

The word "doctor" means teacher. Naturopathic physicians believe this is true. They treat patients as equals, but recognize their responsibility to share their knowledge with their patients. A principle objective of naturopathic medicine is to teach the patient about the cause and cure of disease on all levels, emphasizing prevention and self-responsibility. Naturopathic Physicians recognize the great importance of the partnership of the doctor and patient in achieving optimal health.


HISTORY OF NATURAL MEDICINE

Hippocrates, the Father of medicine, taught his students, in the fourth century B.C., that illness was the result of an imbalance of the body's homeostatic and defense mechanisms. The natural state of the human organism is health.

The body is born with the inherent ability to heal itself. The simple truth is, doctors do not heal disease and drugs do not heal disease. It is nature, indeed the body itself that is the true healer.

Dr. Benedict Lust is the father of Naturopathic Medicine. He came to America from Germany in 1882. Dr. Lust obtained degrees as a Medical Doctor, an Osteopathic Doctor, a Homeopathic Doctor and a Chiropractor. He saw the tremendous value and great need to combine the best of all of these medical fields into one, and therefore, established the first Naturopathic Medical School, in New York in 1895.

 

WHO WAS HIPPOCRATES

Hippocrates is regarded as the "Father of Medicine.” He was a Greek physician born in 460 BC on the island of Cos, Greece. He was regarded as the greatest physician of his time. He based his medical practice on observations and on the study of the human body.

Hippocrates held the belief that the body must be treated as a whole and not just a series of parts. He accurately described disease symptoms and was the first physician to accurately describe the symptoms of pneumonia, as well as epilepsy in children. He believed in the natural healing process of rest, a good diet, fresh air and cleanliness. He noted that there were individual differences in the severity of disease symptoms and that some individuals were better able to cope with their disease and illness than others.

How did he change medicine?
Hippocrates stressed the importance of fresh air, a good diet and plenty of exercise to help the body heal itself. All of Hippocrates's students had to follow a strict ethical code that governed their behavior as doctors. Students swore that they would maintain patient confidentiality and never deliberately poison a patient. Even today, doctors entering the profession can still choose to swear the Hippocratic oath. This oath was an attempt to place doctors on a higher footing than other healers and set them apart as specialists.

Hippocrates developed an Oath of Medical Ethics for physicians to follow. This Oath is still taken by physicians today as they begin their medical practice. The Hippocratic Oath (see ancient and modern versions below) is one of the oldest binding documents in history. Written in antiquity, its principles are held sacred by doctors to this day: treat the sick to the best of one's ability, preserve patient privacy, teach the secrets of medicine to the next generation, and so on. "The Oath of Hippocrates," holds the American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics (1996 edition), "has remained in Western civilization as an expression of ideal conduct for the physician." Today, most graduating medical-school students swear to some form of the oath, usually a modernized version. Indeed, taking the Hippocratic Oath has risen in recent decades to near uniformity, with nearly 100 percent taking the oath today, while just 24 percent of U.S. medical schools administering the oath in 1928.


Yet paradoxically, although the oath's use has burgeoned, modern versions have omitted several of the classical oath's basic tenets. According to a 1993 survey of 150 U.S. and Canadian medical schools, for example, only 14 percent of modern oaths prohibit euthanasia as the original proscribed, only 11 percent of the modern oaths swear the oath to God, only 8 percent now foreswear abortion, and a mere 3 percent forbid sexual contact with patients – all maxims held sacred in the classical version. The original binds doctors never to "use the knife" (that is, conduct surgical procedures) – obviously out of step with the convention of most modern-day physicians. Perhaps most telling, while the classical oath calls for "the opposite" of pleasure and fame for those who transgress the oath, fewer than half of oaths taken today insist the taker be held accountable for keeping the pledge.

Indeed, a growing number of physicians have come to feel that the Hippocratic Oath is inadequate to address the realities of a medical world that has witnessed huge scientific, economic, political, and social changes, a world of legalized abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and pestilences unheard of in Hippocrates' time.

Naturopathic Physicians are the only modern-day physicians that still adhere to the oath to “neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asks for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.” Naturopathic physicians follow Hippocrates’ primary rule: “Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.” They are the only physicians who are actually trained in medical school sufficiently to be able to sware by the original that, “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment.”

The earliest doctors and healers worked with herbs, foods, water, fasting, physical therapy – gentle treatments that do not obscure the body's own healing powers. Today Naturopathic Physicians carry on this tradition and continue to use these therapies as their main tools. In addition, modern Naturopathic Physicians make practical use of the latest biochemical research involving nutrition, botanicals, homeopathy, and other natural treatments. Drugs and surgery are reserved as treatments of last resort because of their high incidence of side effects.



HIPPOCRATIC OATH

I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art - if they desire to learn it - without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.

I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.

Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.

If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot.


Translation from the Greek by Ludwig Edelstein. From The Hippocratic Oath: Text, Translation, and Interpretation, by Ludwig Edelstein. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1943.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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