Naturopathic Medicine

Dr. Binal Shah    |    732.429.0543    |    healandcure[at]gmail.com 

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What is Naturopathic Medicine? 

Naturopathic medicine is a combination of eastern and western wisdom.  It promotes the use of natural, non-toxic modalities to help the whole body to heal itself.

Guiding Principles:

1.  The Healing Power of Nature- vis medicatrix naturae

      The body's innate intelligence has the ability to establish, maintain and restore health.  This innate intelligence is called the vital (or life) force.  The healer-doctor facilitates the healing process by identifying and removing the obstacles to health and recovery by supporting the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
  

2. Identify and treat the cause -- tolle causam

     The root cause of dis-ease must be discovered and removed/treated before a person can heal.  Symptoms are mere expressions of the underlying cause and the body's attempt to heal itself, but they are not the cause of the dis-ease.  Underlying causes maybe physical, mental-emotional, energetic-spiritual, or a combination of any of the above.  The healer-doctor identifies the root causes and addresses it rather than merely addressing the symptoms, although treating the root cause also generally helps to relieve the symptoms.

3. First do no harm -- primum no nocere   

     Healing should be non-toxic and therapies should be complementary and synergistic with the healing process. The Naturopathic Doctor supports the healing process instead of methods designed to suppress symptoms which can often be more harmful than beneficial.

4. Treat the whole person -- in perturbato animo sicut in corpore sanitas esse non potest 

     Health and dis-ease in a person are as complex as the individual- comprised of body, mind, and spirit, and the interaction with genetic, environmental, and social factors.  The Naturopathic Doctor takes the complexities in account when treating the whole person to bring harmony and health to the body, mind, and spirit.

5. The physician as teacher -- docere 

     The doctor's main function in society is to teach all how to live healthy and prevent dis-ease.  Through a positive doctor-patient relationship, the Naturopathic Doctor empowers patients to take charge of their health and well-being. In this model of healthcare, it is the patient who accomplishes the healing, the doctor is only a stimulus for the healing to begin.
  

6. Prevention -- principiis obsta: sero medicina curatur 

     Naturopathic medicine's ultimate goal is prevention.  In our current mentality, patients seek doctors only when they are "sick."  Through education, Naturopathic Doctors seek to create healthier individuals and societies through dis-ease prevention rather than symptom management. 

Naturopathic Doctor Education

N.D.'s are trained in 4-year medical programs in one of the only four accredited Naturopathic Medical schools in the US.  In Naturopathic Medical schools, future doctors learn the basic medical sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, etc.) along with conventional diagnostics, alternative diagnostics, pharmacology, and a wide array of natural, non-toxic healing therapies.  At the end of the 4-year program, they take rigorous certification examinations to qualify as licensed physicians.

At this point, Naturopathic Doctors are not licensed in all 50 states.  So, depending on state jurisdictions,  NDs in your area may or may not be allowed to "diagnosis and treat"-- eventhough they are well-qualified to do so.  For more information, ask your Naturopathic practitioner where they went to medical school.

Naturopathic and Traditional Medicine

The two branches of medicine- "conventional" and "alternative" can work hand in hand to help patients feel and be healthier.  A Naturopathic Doctor is capable of assisting patients that choose to take conventional medicines with complimentary therapies.  For patients that choose to just use natural therapies, the N.D. is key in helping to guide the patient in which therapies would be ideal for them.  

Dr. Shah meets patients where they are to assist them in their own healing.  Whether they choose Naturopathic medicine as a compliment or an alternative is irrelevant-- the important thing is that the patient can heal in the best way possible.