What are Naturopathic Physicians?
Here at the Gerson Retreat, we have Naturopathic physicians combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, these doctors help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the doctor’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.
These physicians are primary care physicians clinically trained in natural therapeutics and whose philosophy is derived in part from the 2000-year-old Hippocratic teaching (vis mediatrix naturae) that nature is the healer of all diseases. Their practice is based on same bio-medical science foundation that conventional practice is; however, their treatment philosophies and approaches differ considerably.
While naturopathic physicians and conventional physicians share common diagnostic methods, naturopathic physicians treat patients using natural therapies such as physical manipulation, clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, counseling, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy. They choose treatment based on the individual patient, not based on the generality of symptoms.
Naturopathic physicians spend a great deal more time with their patients. Like conventional family doctors, many naturopathic physicians have the credentials to prescribe medication and make a full range of treatment decisions, but focus on developing a collaborative relationship with the patient, with the goal of empowering them to steer and improve their own health with greater independence from professional treatment.
Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all other branches of medical science, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate. This approach has proven successful in treating both chronic and acute conditions.