Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathy (natur-AH-path-y) is the art of natural healing, and is deeply rooted in the belief in the body’s inherent wisdom to ‘heal oneself.’ Dr. Benedict Lust coined the term ‘naturopathy’ in the late 1800’s in America, at a time when naturopathy was used by a growing profession of doctors and healers who used European and American botanical medicines, homeopathy, physiotherapy, and water cure therapy. Today, the science of naturopathic medicine is an ever-evolving, vital and holistic system of modern medicine rooted in this historical wisdom. Naturopathic medicine is an art, a philosophy, a science, and an integral healthcare practice of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illness using natural, non-toxic, & non-invasive therapies.

Naturopathic physicians must attend a 4-year residential medical school, and are trained in traditional medical sciences and clinical studies as well as in the therapeutic sciences of nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, and hands-on physical medicine. Naturopathic physicians are licensed in Rhode Island to use natural therapies to promote health & wellness for patients.

The Naturopathic Healing Modalities

Naturopathic physicians are experts in the integrated applications of these natural healing modalities:

  1. Dietary and nutritional counseling– applying the philosophies of “foods as medicine” for the individual’s needs; identifying foods that are impeding one’s health; using foods to promote vitality; investigating, identifying and correcting nutritional deficiencies and imbalances
  2. Lifestyle counseling – maximizing lifestyle choices to promote health, reduce risks of illness, and prevent or address chronic disease; educating clients in using tools for stress management; optimizing restorative sleep; motivating clients to find enjoyable, beneficial forms of exercise and movement therapy
  3. Nutritional medicine – using the purest & highest quality nutritional vitamins, minerals, and nutraceuticals to promote healing & health
  4. Herbal medicine – using the highest quality herbs and medicinal plants to address individual health issues and to promote healing & health
  5. Homeopathic medicine– applying homeopathy as an effective system of natural medicine to promote healing & health
  6. Hydrotherapy -using applications of hot and/or cold water therapy to stimulate the immune system and to promote healing & health
  7. Physical medicine -applying hands-on methods of bodywork such as Bowenwork and Reiki to promote healing & health

The Six Principals of Naturopathic Medicine

The philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine is distinguished by six philosophical principles:

  1. The body can heal; nature can heal
  2. Identify and remove the cause of illness in the individual patient
  3. First, do no harm – use the least invasive, effective method to heal the individual patient
  4. Teach the patient about one’s own’s health; empower each individual
  5. Treat the whole person; treat the whole individual
  6. Prevent disease and future illness