Naturopathic medicine is a healing system that employs natural remedies to enhance the body’s innate self-healing capacity. Dr. Herdman takes a careful medical history, listening to each patient, and she may order thorough blood testing, imaging, and other tests to reach an accurate diagnosis. Her approach to treatment, however, is primarily holistic with three main tenets:
- Treating the patient as a whole person, rather than isolated parts, with the understanding that many body systems work together or inter-relate and affect each other
- Identifying and addressing underlying causes whenever possible, with the aim of changing the body’s function to a healthier state so that symptoms are relieved and also less likely to recur
- Using natural remedies as our first choice treatment, which may include helpful foods, vitamins or minerals, herbs or exercise – and prescriptions only if indicated as a second choice. Some patients use a combination of primarily natural therapies alongside reduced doses of prescribed medications.
On the day of graduation, Naturopathic doctors pledge themselves to their profession and to the six principles of natural medicine, with this oath:
The Naturopathic Physician’s Oath:
I dedicate myself to the service of humanity as a practitioner of the art and science of Naturopathic medicine.
I will honor my teachers and all who have preserved & developed this knowledge and dedicate myself to supporting the growth and evolution of Naturopathic medicine. I will endeavor continually to improve my abilities as a healer through study, reflection and genuine concern for humanity. I will impart knowledge of the advanced healing arts to dedicated colleagues and students.
Through precept, lecture and example, I will assist and encourage others to strengthen their health, reduce risks for disease and preserve the health of our planet for ourselves, our families and future generations.
According to my best ability and judgment, I will use methods of treatment which follow the six principles of Naturopathic medicine:
- First of all, to do no harm.
- To act in cooperation with the Healing Power of Nature.
- To discover and address the fundamental causes of disease.
- To treat the whole person through individualized care.
- To teach and educate patients about self-care, offering inspiration and encouragement through the doctor-patient relationship.
- To impart the principles of prevention and healthy living.
I will conduct my life and the practice of Naturopathic health care with vigilance and integrity and freedom from prejudice. I will abstain from voluntary acts of injustice and corruption. I will keep confidential whatever I am privileged to witness, whether professionally or privately, that should not be divulged.
With my whole heart, before this gathering of witnesses, as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, I pledge to remain true to this oath.