What is naturopathic medicine?




Naturopathic medicine involves treating the whole person through natural therapies. The emphasis in the practice of naturopathic medicine is to address the root causes of disease instead of just treating symptoms. 


What principles guide naturopathic medicine?

There are 5 main guiding principles in naturopathic medicine. They are:

  1. First, do no harm (premum non nocere)
  2. Nature has the power to heal itself (Vis medicatrix naturae)
  3. Identify and treat the causes (tolle causum)
  4. Doctor as teacher (docere)
  5. Treat the whole person (tolle totem) 

What are the modalities practiced in naturopathic medicine?

There are various modalities practiced within the profession of naturopathic medicine including:

  1. Lifestyle medicine
  2. Clinical nutrition
  3. Botanical medicine
  4. Physical medicine
  5. Hydrotherapy
  6. Asian medicine
  7. Homeopathy

This is not an exhaustive list, nor does everyone who practice naturopathic medicine utilize all the above modalities, however these are generally the common ones used in the practice of naturopathy. Pathways to Wholeness and the North York Lifestyle Medicine Clinic does not practice asian medicine or homeopathy. 

Who practices naturopathic medicine?

There are various groups who may practice various aspects of naturopathic medicine. But "naturopathic doctors" or "naturopaths" are the professionals who are licensed to practice naturopathic medicine. Those two titles: "naturopathic doctor" and "naturopath" are protected titles; meaning that only licensed individuals are permitted to assume those titles.

Please learn more about the regulation and licensing of naturopathic doctors on the website of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO): http://www.collegeofnaturopaths.on.ca

How is naturopathic medicine different from allopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medicine generally does not involve the use of pharmacological agents or surgical procedures. Medical doctors generally will not utilize naturopathic modalities in their medical practices.