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Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine.
The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body and treat the underlying cause of disease. Symptoms of disease are seen as warning signals of improper functioning of the body, and unfavourable lifestyle habits.
Treating both acute and chronic conditions, naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, may also be used during treatments.
Homeopathy is one of the treatment modalities used in naturopathic medicine. It is a system of therapeutics based on the principle that like cures like, and established for about 200 years. It uses natural remedies to stimulate the body’s self-healing powers. It is a holistic medicine which treats the symptoms of the body and mind as a totality.
Homeopaths recognise that symptoms of ill-health are expressions of disharmony within the whole person, and that the whole person needs treatment, not just the isolated symptoms of a particular illness. The correct homeopathic remedy is chosen according to the person’s whole symptom picture, physical, mental and emotional. The remedies are made from dilutions of plant, mineral or animal substances and do not have any toxic pharmacological side-effects.
Naturopathic doctors are trained in acupuncture and traditional chinese medicine. Acupuncture is a 2000 year old medical practice from China, which uses a detailed case taking and observation of subtle diagnostic techniques that have been refined over centuries.
Traditional acupuncturists believe that the underlying principle of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body's qi, or vital energy, cannot flow freely. There can be many reasons for this: emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection or injury are among the most common.
By inserting ultra-fine sterile needles into specific acupuncture points, a traditional acupuncturist seeks to re-establish the free flow of qi to restore balance and trigger the body's natural healing response. A growing body of evidence-based clinical research shows that traditional acupuncture safely treats a wide range of common health problems.
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