The practice of Naturopathic Medicine is guided by a set of practical and time tested philosophical principles. These principles help explain the differences you will experience when you come to visit a naturopathic doctor versus other types of doctors.
The core naturopathic principles are as follows:
1) First, Do No Harm
Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies available. Treatments that “build up, strengthen or repair” the body are encouraged. The idea of harming the body through toxic drugs or harmful surgeries goes against the notion that the body itself is its most potent healer. Which leads us to the second principle.
2) Cooperate With the Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medacatrix Naturae)
This refers to a trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself. The human body has beautiful and elegent systems within it that help it to maintain health. Often times these systems can get overwhelmed due to toxic environments, food choices, stress, trauma or just living in today’s world. It is the goal of Naturopathic Medicine to cooperate and support these systems, so that the body not only ceases the expression of symptoms, but functions better as a whole!
3) Identify and Treat the Causes of Disease
Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause of disease. Often times people go to doctors because they are experiencing a symptom. It is the job of a Naturopathic Physician to look past the superficial symptom and ask the question “why is this arising?” The unfortunate truth is that much of health care has deteriorated into a magic pill for each symptom that one expresses. Naturopathic philosophy tells the doctor to look beyond the “band-aid” approach to address the underlying reasons why symptoms get expressed in the first place.
4) Doctor as Teacher
“When you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day… If you teach him how to fish, he will eat forever.” The wisdom hidden in this quote is a guiding force of Dr Hughes’ practice. Simply stated the true definition of the word “Doctor” actually means “teacher”, and this is a role that Dr Hughes relishes – to teach you how to be well. When you learn how to create balance within yourself, you become your own best doctor.
5) Treat the Whole Person
Human beings are complex. While the insights of modern science have allowed us to have tremendous breakthroughs in our health, there are times when science overlooks the complexity of what it means to be a human. We are more than just biochemisty. We have a mind that affects our health. Other cultures have engaged our more energetic aspects for thousands of years for great clinical benefit. It is the goal of naturopathic medicine to take as many of these perspectives into account in the treatment of people. Thru this comprehensive view of what it means to be human comes a comprehensive ability to increase health.
That old expression “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” really does hold true. The goal of naturopathic medicine is to not only treat disease, but to also create a vibrant healthy person who is more resilient to the process of disease as a whole. Knowing what your symptoms mean in terms of underlying imbalances is vitally important with respect to helping prevention. This is one way Dr Hughes can help you!