The therapeutic order is key to the Naturopathic process.
There are times when Naturopathic Medicine seems like it is 100% the opposite of what mainstream, western medicine is all about. There is a good reason as to why it feels this way. For us, Naturopathic Doctors, there is a therapeutic order that we follow when treating patients. We want to use the least invasive, smallest intervening, and most natural approach as possible. Yet we also understand that we need to match the severity of the treatment to the severity of the disease. If someone has a broken bone we cannot just give them homeopathic remedies to help the bone heal, no, we have to first get the bones aligned, the area casted, and then use the homeopathic remedies.
Using the least invasive treatment first allows the body to heal rather than just suppress the condition. Using natural approaches we help to stimulate the healing power of the body, the Vis. The Vis is often in need of support as our lifestyles don't allow for proper relaxation, exercise, or optimal eating. This chaos can lead to disease as we become out of touch with our bodies. We miss the signals of things going wrong like, for example, the signal that we need to drink water. Often times, on the treatment sheet I do for my patient, the patient’s lifestyle modifications are a longer list than the supplement list I want them taking. I am asking them to exercise, drink water, get off the electronics before bed, remove certain foods from their diets, journal, get out in nature, and even laugh. Sometimes, I see these modifications having more impact than the supplements themselves. That does not mean that supplements are not needed, no, but they are instead just higher up on the therapeutic order.
I am glad that the therapeutic order crossed my path again the other day. It is a nice reminder of why Naturopathic Medicine makes sense to me, why it resonates with me, and is my passion. I am grateful to the elder doctors for their wisdom, their grace, and brilliance in putting together the therapeutic order. I am honored to be a Naturopathic Doctor, and am amazed by our history and foundation.
Image Credit: Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges