In the state of Arizona, naturopathic doctors are primary care physicians, or PCPs, which means we see patients for annual physical exams and bloodwork, manage PAP exams and breast health, and treat a wide variety of acute and chronic complaints. Naturopathy is a distinctive approach to health and healing that recognizes and celebrates the integrity of the individual. Naturopathic medicine emphasizes the treatment of disease through the stimulation, enhancement, and support of the inherent healing capacity of the person. Methods of naturopathic treatment include diet modification, nutritional supplementation, chelation therapy, exercise science, botanical medicine, homeopathy, counseling, and primary care and preventative medicine. The practice of naturopathy emerges from six underlying principles of healing which are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in light of scientific analysis. Although naturopathic physicians have DEA numbers and can prescribe prescription medications, we use western drugs only when appropriate. ALETRIS’ Scottsdale naturopaths treat the underlying cause of disease to move patients toward optimal health and wellness.
The practice of Naturopathy emerges from six underlying principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in light of scientific analysis. For the naturopathic physician, abiding by these principles forms the basis of all treatment. They are:
The healing power of nature: Vis medicatrix naturae
The body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician’s role is to facilitate and augment this process, to act to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
Identify and treat the cause: Tolle causam
Illness does not occur without cause. Underlying causes of disease must be discovered and removed or treated before a person can recover completely from illness. Symptoms are expressions of the body’s attempt to heal, but are not the cause of disease. Symptoms, therefore, should not be suppressed by treatment.
First do no harm: Primum no nocere
Illness is a purposeful process of the organism. The process of healing often includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the body attempting to heal itself.
Treat the whole person: The multifactorial nature of health and disease
Health and disease are conditions of the whole organism, a whole involving a complex interaction of physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. The physician must treat the whole person by taking all of these factors into account.
The physician as teacher: Docere
Beyond an accurate diagnosis and appropriate prescription, the physician must work to create a healthy, sensitive interpersonal relationship with the patient. A cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value. The physician’s major role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for health.
Prevention: Prevention is the best “cure”
The ultimate goal of any health care system should be prevention. This is accomplished through education and promotion of life-habits that create good health. The physician assesses risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and makes appropriate interventions to avoid further harm and risk to the patient. The emphasis is on building health rather than fighting disease.