The Founding Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
As Naturopathic Medicine becomes increasingly popular, (there are now over 400 licensed California-licensed natural medicine primary care doctors) many people have been wondering, "What exactly is Naturopathy?"
This is the first of three parts on the six guiding principles of naturopathic medicine - founded on medical tradition and scientific evidence. These principles are the foundation that all naturopathic doctors use to diagnose and treat patients.
The first principle that defines naturopathic medicine is to treat the cause, not merely the symptoms. If we compare our bodies to our cars, we know that there are a whole host of warning lights that can indicate potential problems, such as the "check engine" or "low gas" lights. When these lights appear, do we disconnect the light so we don't see it or do we try to find and fix the problem?
Likewise, when we experience pain, headaches, low energy, mood disorders, etc. - these are our body's "warning lights" that something is wrong. We can ignore the problem and hope it goes away and risk serious complications, another option is to take pharmaceutical drugs to mask these symptoms. And yet another option is to heed the messages and begin to understand what the underlying issues are.
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are committed to helping their patients get answers to what might be causing their symptoms. Using depression as an example, is this very serious medical condition caused by an anti-depressant drug deficiency? Or, instead, could the problem be an imbalance of neurotransmitters and a lack of important nutrients (vitamin D, B vitamins, etc) that the brain needs to function properly?
The second principle in naturopathic medicine is do no harm. Hippocrates' instruction to physicians clearly states that whatever intervention a doctor can make is only acceptable if it will do no further damage to the patient's health. A good example of a naturopathic approach to healing a bacterial infection is, instead of killing all the body's bacteria with antibiotics (anti-life), to get rid of the "bad" bacteria, ND's would instead strengthen the body's immune system. Antibiotics rearrange the body's microorganisms, leaving an individuals' immune system weakened, and ripe for a very serious yeast infection. Although there are situations that antibiotics might be necessary, NDs would prefer to try a more natural, non-toxic approach.
Another example of this principle is to not suppress symptoms, which are the body's efforts to self-heal. The body may cook up a fever in reaction to a bacterial infection, and as our body heats up, it creates an inhospitable environment for the harmful bacteria, thereby destroying it. Of course, the ND would not allow the fever to get dangerously high, but also would not turn to fever-reducers as a first step.
Stay tuned for the next four principles of Naturopathic Medicine, and in the meantime, please feel free to contact Dr. Godby, ND at DrGodby@SacND.com or Meghan at DietitianMeghan@SacND.com with comments or questions.
Dr. Dennis Godby, Doctor of Naturopathy, Sutter Medical Foundation.
He may be reached online or at his Sacramento Office (916) 446-2591.
Placer County News HeadlinesHoliday in the Hills on the Placer Wine Trail in DecemberRoseville, CA, - Come join us and help celebrate the holidays on the Placer Wine Trail to benefit Toys for Tots. Enjoy the holidays in Placer County
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Comes to Life at This EventSacramento, Calif. - Dr. Seuss' beloved holiday tale "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" will come to life at Fairytale Town's annual Winter Wonderland event.
California Bowl in Roseville November 24- 26Roseville, CA - Nov. 16, 2017 -One of the most competitive and exciting youth football tournaments on the west coast returns to Roseville over Thanksgiving weekend.
Kids with Disabilities to Get Help with Telemedicine Program (Sacramento, Calif.) - The UC Davis Department of Pediatrics has received a $2 million, five-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to fund a new telemedicine program
Gun Scare in Roseville at Woodcreek HighRoseville, CA, - Roseville Police find loaded handgun following alert from Woodcreek High Students.
Ford can 'Focus' on its futureRoseville, CA,- Not many people are probably aware, but the Ford Focus has been among the top-selling cars in the world, and even held the top spot in 2013.
$1.5 Million in Grants for Sacramento-area NonprofitsRoseville, CA,- Kaiser Permanente has awarded 52 grants totaling more than $1.5 million to local not-for-profit organizations, schools and public entities in Sacramento, Yolo and Placer counties.
Roseville Gas Prices Up 20 Percent Year from Last YearRoseville, CA,- Gas prices in Roseville ticked up slightly this past week. Following on the heels on California's $5 billion a year gas tax hike
Holiday Safety Tips by Roseville Police Dept.Roseville, CA,- The holiday season is a busy and festive time. While you're busy preparing, criminals are stepping up their efforts to increase their holiday haul.
Fishing Club Monthly Breakfast in AuburnThe Rooster Tails Fishing Club monthly breakfast will be held at the Auburn Elks Lodge at 195 Pine Street in Auburn on November 17
Placer County Regional Bikeway Plan UpdateAs Placer County experiences dramatic growth in population, new homes and businesses, the popularity of cycling grows at the same time
Orange is New Pink 5K Walk for Breast CancerOrange is the New Pink 5K Walk for Breast Cancer will take place Sunday, Dec. 3 at Mandarin Hill Orchards in Penryn