Naturopathic medicine is an array of healing practices drawing from many cultures. The role of the naturopathic physician is to facilitate the body’s natural healing processes through natural, nontoxic therapies. As such, the cause of the disease is sought rather than simply suppressing the symptoms, which are viewed as the body’s natural attempt to heal. In addition, naturopathic physicians are committed to the principle of causing no harm to the patient and to treating the person as a whole.
Naturopathic physicians view themselves as teachers who educate, empower, and motivate the patient to lead a healthier life, emphasizing prevention as the best cure. By focusing on the underlying causes rather than the disease symptoms, a variety of treatments are needed to address the numerous ways that illness can manifest itself. Therefore, naturopathic physicians are often trained in clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, homeopathy, physical medicine, counseling, and minor surgery to achieve holistic healing.