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Natural Health Georgia Health Healthcare Acupuncture Naturopath

Natural Health Georgia Health Healthcare Acupuncture Naturopath

Natural Health Georgia Health Healthcare Acupuncture Naturopath

Oconee Natural Healthcare

Wyler Hecht, N.D., L.Ac.

Naturopathic Medicine

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct, integrated system of primary healthcare based, in part, on the philosophy that what is needed to heal disease can be found in nature and/or the laws of nature. It is a system of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human illness which combines safe and effective traditional modalities with the most current advances in modern medicine.

Treatment methods and substances may include dietary and lifestyle counseling, clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, physical medicine, acupuncture, bio-identical hormones.

While naturopathic modalities may differ greatly from that of allopathic medicine, it is not so much the tools that we use that distinguish the profession. Primarily it is the philosophy and paradigm upon which our medicine is based that sets our profession apart–not as better or worse, rather as a distinct system of medicine. Paramount to naturopathic medicine are six underlying principles upon which our practice is based.

The underlying principles of naturopathic medicine:

1. Vis medicatrix naturae (The healing power of nature)
Naturopathic physicians recognize that there is an inherent self-healing process that occurs in all living things. Within all living organisms is an ordered and intelligent array of energy, physiology, and biochemistry that establishes, maintains, and restores health. It is the role of the naturopathic physician to recognize, facilitate, and, when necessary, augment this self-healing process.

2. Primum no nocere (First do no harm)
Naturopathic physicians use healing modalities and medicinal substances which minimize harmful effects, and use the least forceful intervention possible to restore health. As symptoms are typically the body’s attempt to restore balance, naturopathic physicians very rarely use modalities to simply suppress a symptom as this can actually cause more harm than good.

3. Tolle causam (treat the cause)
Illness does not occur without a cause. In order to restore optimal health one must identify and address the underlying cause of disease. Naturopathic physicians strive to diagnose and treat the cause. For example, three patients may present with similar symptoms of migraines, however the causes may be varied. One patient may be experiencing hormonal migraines, another may get migraines due to food allergies, and the third patient may suffer migraines secondary to chemical exposure. While the same medicine may serve to stop the pain, simply suppressing the migraine does nothing to prevent the next one from occurring. Restoring health and preventing further migraines can only be accomplished by treating the underlying cause.

4. Tolle totum (treat the whole person)
Both optimal health and disease are a result of a complex of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual factors. Naturopathic physicians recognize the importance of each aspect of the individual as being essential to overall health. It is the role of the naturopath to provide personalized and comprehensive treatment plans that reflect this understanding.

5. Docere (physician as teacher)
Ultimately, it is the patient, not the doctor, who accomplishes healing and restores vitality. The physicians role is that of a teacher–to educate, encourage, and guide. Naturopathic physicians strive to motivate and empower their patients to take responsibility of their own health. Teaching with knowledge, hope, and compassion, the naturopathic physician acts to enable the patient to heal.

6. Prevention
The primary goal of any health care system should be to prevent disease. Naturopathic physicians learn to assess risk factors for disease based on a multitude of information including family history, lifestyle, lab values, etc. We know that maintaining health is easier than recovering health, so preventing illness becomes paramount to a good naturopathic practice.