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Durango Midwife 8

Dr. Joy takes into account the whole person and is committed to seeking the underlying causes of each person’s disease or lack of vitality.

Starting with lower force interventions such as diet, homeopathy, and herbs allows healing to occur at a deep level within the body’s systems, and engages mind and spirit in the healing process.

Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body’s inherent ability, which is ordered and intelligent, to heal itself. Naturopathic doctors act to identify and remove obstacles to recovery, and to facilitate and augment this healing ability.
The naturopathic doctor seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to eliminate or merely suppress symptoms.

Naturopathic medicine follows three principles to avoid harming the patient:

  1. utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects;

  2. avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms;

  3. acknowledge and respect the individual’s healing process, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat illness.

Naturopathic doctors educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.
Naturopathic doctors treat each individual by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic doctors encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual path.
Naturopathic doctors emphasize disease prevention, assessment of risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine strives to create a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.
Wellness follows the establishment and maintenance of optimum health and balance. Wellness is a state of being healthy, characterized by positive emotion, thought and action. Wellness is inherent in everyone, no matter what dis-ease(s) is/are being experienced. If wellness is really recognized and experienced by an individual, it will more quickly heal a given dis-ease than direct treatment of the dis-ease alone. (This principle was adopted by Bastyr University and added to the six principles.)

 Naturopathic Therapeutic Order

  1. Establish the Conditions for Health:  Sleep, good nutrition, clean water, sunshine, nature, and a healthy spirit are needed for us to be balanced and well. The first step in returning to health is to remove those entities that disturb health, most commonly: poor diet, digestive disturbances, inappropriate stress levels, spiritual disharmony, among others. Naturopaths identify and remove the obstacles to cure in order to establish the conditions for health.  This allows additional therapeutics to have the most beneficial effects possible.

  2. Stimulate the Vis Medicatrix Naturae:  (Other names for “Vis” include “qi”, “prana”, “life force”) The Vis is one’s vital force, the body’s innate self-healing ability. NDs use therapies, such as homeopathy, constitutional hydrotherapy, acupuncture, exercise, yoga, meditation, and craniosacral therapy to facilitate the stimulation and strengthening of this powerful, curative force.

  3. Tonify Weakened Systems:  Those systems that need repair, and not simply stimulation, are addressed at this level of healing. Naturopathic Doctors have an arsenal of therapeutics available to enhance specific tissues, organs or systems, including: botanical medicine, glandulars, nutraceuticals (professional grade vitamins/minerals), homeopathy, acupuncture, among others. These therapeutics strengthen the immune system, decrease toxicity, normalize inflammatory function, and balance regulatory systems.

  4. Correct Structural Integrity:  Physical modalities such as spinal manipulation, massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, are utilized to improve and maintain skeletal and musculature integrity and keep the nervous system firing appropriately.

  5. Use Natural Substances to Restore and Regenerate:   Naturopathic Medicine’s primary objective is to restore health, not to treat pathology. However, when a specific pathology must be addressed NDs employ safe, effective, natural substances that do not add toxicity, nor burden, to the already diseased body.

  6. Use Pharmacological Agents for Pathology:  When necessary pharmaceutical drugs are used to suppress symptoms. This, however, does not allow for the removal of the fundamental disturbing factors, nor the improvement of the underlying terrain.  There are situations that warrant conventional medical treatments and therapies. In these cases, naturopaths refer to an allopathic practitioner to prescribe pharmaceuticals.

  7. Use High Force, Invasive Modalities: Surgery, Radiation, Chemotherapy:  When life, limb or function must be preserved NDs refer to Medical Doctors who are expertly trained in these arenas.  However, there are complementary, or supportive, therapies that Naturopathy can provide to decrease side effects and often increase the effectiveness of these invasive procedures. As Dr. John Bastyr said towards the end of his retirement, “Do what works.”

Adapted from: “A Hierarchy of Healing: The Therapeutic Order-The Unifying Theory of Naturopathic Medicine” by Jared Zeff, ND and Pamela Snider, ND


Resource Link:

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians:


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