Summary of Naturopathic Practice
Yung Ching Ho

American Academy of Naturopathic Medicine
1. Primary intention
   Through research and education, AANM combines eastern and western concept of natural medicine in order to promote the life, the living, the ecology, the livelihood and the productivity of all humanity (Health for All).
2. Characteristic
  Naturopathic practice is evidence-based, featuring the simplicity and effectiveness of its application.
3. Premise
  First do no harm.
4. Don't Hurt.
  4.1. Human, a natural being, can not live by isolating oneself from the surrounding.
  4.2. Human must live by humanities despite the advance of new science and technology and, more importantly, live with Nature.
  4.3. All living beings have the right to live. Each organism must maintain a dynamic equilibrium to its inner and outer universe on a microscopic level, which includes all the microbes and viruses.
  4.4. Each organism has its natural ability to cure, which is so powerful that we call it one's innate vitality as in Greek medicatrix.
  4.5 For most diseases, organism can cure itself.
  4.6 Body and mind can not be separated as they affect each other in a reciprocal manner.
  4.7 Disease, manifested in a dynamic fashion, is caused by the fact that one's innate vitality fails to compensate under the effects of negative inner or outer influence.
  4.8 No matter what form a disease takes, the main cause for disease is toxic build-up in the body and under activity or dysfunction of innate vitality, which corresponds to what has been taught in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
  4.9 When it comes to curing disease, physicians only support and work with the natural healing power of nature in the healing process.
5. Attitude
  5.1 Treat your patients like how you would like to be treated. Patient is your best teacher.
  5.2 Learn and respect the rule of nature. Make good use of nature with love and care.
  5.3 Be humble and emulate people who are wiser. Apply knowledge to a good cause; in addition, respect the unrevealed.
6. Primary criteria
Any measure used in natural medicine, regardless of its principle, method, formula, medicinal substance or diet, must comply with the idea "Adaptogen", which means as follow.
  6.1 The substance or measure used must not cause any toxicity or adverse reaction.
  6.2 The action of the medicinal substance must be non-specific to any organs.
  6.3 The substance or measure used must help to normalize all the body function.
7. Principles
  7.1 Take drug therapy as a last resort.
  7.2 Treat the cause of disease, not the symptoms.
  7.3 Take surgery as a last resort.
  7.4 Food as medicine.
  7.5 Simplicity is the best policy.
  7.6 Kindness and wisdom are essential to a physician.
8. Fundamental Theories
  8.1. Natural medicine is a medicine of health state, a dynamic change of healthy state, frail state, subclinical state and diseased state.
  8.2. Natural medicine is composed of three elemental principles- autonomy, holistic and historicity.
  8.3. Naturopathic diagnosis is based on both subjective and objective perspectives.
  8.4. Naturopathic etiology view all the diseases are stemmed from accumulation of toxin, sluggish clearance of toxic waste and disorder of body function.
  8.5. Naturopathic pathogenesis discovers the on-set of a disease, often affecting the weakest body part, occurs when a person is considered to be in his/her weakest state.
  8.6. Naturopathic pathology believes the dysfunctional internal and external flow and exchange of substance, energy and signal may set off the on-set of a disease.
  8.7. Naturopathic treatment assists organism in recovering the normal internal and external flow and exchange of substance, energy and signal so the self-adjusting function may be activated.
  8.8. Naturopathic medical model gives maintaining health top priority, exercise the second and treatment the third- the tripod of an integral health care system.
9. Goal
  Natural medicine attains maintaining health and preventing disease by rectifying concept of health, promoting elimination of toxic waste through bowel movement and urination, promoting drainage of bile duct, promoting flow of Qi and blood, assisting in perspiration and removing blockage of meridians.
10. Definition
  Natural medicine encompasses any principle and method, formula, medicinal substance and diet that develop into a system of theories, which provides explanation to the cause of health and disease and adopts substantial approach to promote health.
11. Elucidation

Health is human right. Life without health is useless. Today health related issues have concerned the public like never before. In fact, people's quality of life has deteriorated year by year; people affected by various infectious or chronic diseases are increasing. What is the problem behind this? How could we do?

From Industrial Revolution to the end of 20th century, human had gained numerous achievements in the rapid growth of science and technology. The controversial allopathic medicine, fostered by the advance of modern science, had brought relief to some infectious diseases causing high mortality rate to the mankind in the past; however, it also had changed the life value of the contemporary as if science is the only thing that deserves worshipping. As science had been viewed as omnipotent, not only eco crisis like green house effect had had negative impact to human survival but iatrogenic and chronic diseases had headed into a steep rise.

Since the beginning of 21st century, climate change, natural disasters, energy and food shortage have hit several countries worldwide; all kinds of acute and chronic diseases have been rampant causing enormous stress to governments, healthcare systems and the public around the world. Deeply inside, people feel our environment has been pushed to a point that nature could no longer bear with and we are faced to a more drastic environmental change.

As far as health promotion or disease prevention is concerned, different systems of medicine have their advantages and insufficiency. As a result of the incomprehensiveness of today's medical system, a more integrated system, accommodating and appreciating different viewpoints among various systems, advocating 'Learn from Nature, Live with Nature' is critical for modern society.

Early in July 22nd, 1946, World Health Organization (WHO) in the Constitution of the World Health Organization defined health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." As a consequence, how to develop current Natural Medicine into 'Medicine for globe' in order to promote the life, the living, the ecology, the livelihood and the productivity of all humanity and, more importantly, health for all becomes common wish of all mankind.

  11.1 Chalenges
    11.1.1. Definition and connotation of different medicine are distinct due to different environment and culture.
    11.1.2. Health regulation in most countries is based on Allopathy.
    11.1.3. There is no established standard for assorted dietary supplements and natural therapies.
    11.1.4. Natural medicine field is still void of self-regulation, self-education and system body.
  11.2. Why?  
    11.2.1. Naturopathy includes miriad healing arts, which are chalenging to integrate.
    11.2.2. Although natural medicine has its legitimate status in the West, its right to practice is still ambiguous in the East.
    11.2.3. Most of the public is not aware that "You are your best doctor," and has not been educated or given the right to choose their health care system.
    11.2.4. Our Earth is facing environmental degradation, reflecting exactly the same on most people's health. As a result, any medicine not considering the life, the living, the ecology, the livelihood and the productivity of all humanity is only curing disease or symptoms, not the cause.
  11.3. What could we do?
    Fundamentally, natural medicine is to promote health and prevent occurrence of diseases; however, the potential causes of disease may be removed in the process. There are a few questions we have to think.
    11.3.1 Have the theoretical base and education system been established?
    11.3.2. Have the principle and practice, formula, medicinal substances been applied appropriately? Are the practitioners really professional in their practice? Are the associate bodies fully developed?
    11.3.3. Has the relevant regulation been established and what should be incorporated?
    11.3.4. Has the public been educated and given the right to choose their health care system?
      World Symposium of Natural Medicine had been held twice, first in Nanjing, China in October 26th and 27th, 2007 and second in Taipei, Taiwan in October 24th and 25th, 2008. It was declared the assembly is dedicated to the future wellbeing and health of mankind. There are three goals to achieve.
  11.4. Health for all. Live long and live well.
    11.4.1. Healing power of nature - one's innate vitality- is the best doctor.
    11.4.2. Preventative medicine, health promotion and intervetion is a continous process that could not be seperated.
    11.4.3. The real meaning of Integrative Medicine is that physicians must always bear the best interests and real needs of patients and the public in mind.
  11.5 The Head of World Federation of Chinese Natural Therapy and TCM practitioner Chou-Yi Chen once stated "TCM is similar to Naturopathy in the West; Naturopathy is similar to TCM in the East. People could benefit from the combination of the two."
    Honorary Fellow of AANM, Clinic Director of Dong Yan-Ling clinic and TCM practitioner Yan-Ling Dong said "Chinese herbal medicine, originating from the ancient's experience of plants and herbs in nature, is the most systematic medicine of long history and therapeutic effect among other medical systems. Its theory and philosophy are formed by observing the rule of universe such as Yin-Yang, the five elements and climate change. Its diagnosis is based on physician's subjective experience. Its medicinal substances are adopted from animals, plants, minerals, water, air, heat and energy present in nature. Its herbal formula are invented and governed by classifying herbs into major principle, subordinary principle, assisting principle and messenger principle. In addition, acupuncture, food and diet therapy, Qigong, Chinese massage, pressure point pressing, meditation are used to complement the practice. We could say TCM is the pioneer of empirical medicine."
    In Japan, some scholars also indicate that the world will inevitably come close to TCM, so its prominent role in the field of natural medicine is well recognized.
  11.6. In America, 13 states had passed the legislation and licensing of Naturopathic Doctors before 2005. In Japan, Europe and Australia, naturopathy, homeopathy, energetic medicine and so forth have received considerable attention from governments, medicine, academics and the public alike. In China, Ministry of Health of People's Republic of China had issued "Strengthening the Vocational Education of Health guidance" in September 2006 and Ministry of Labor and Social Security had also passed the legislation and licensing of Public Nutritionist in October 2005. Apart from the above facts, early in 1980 Department of Health, Executive Yuan, Taiwan had already promoted "Health is your right, Prevention is your duty."
    Consequently, we are faced to the fact 70 to 75 percent of population through out the world is in a state of sub-clinical health and a demand for establishing a comprehensive natural medicine professional education system has reached a critical stage. In the initial, the education system could be developed systematically on the basis of its counterpart in the West and legislation and licensing could be accomplished accordingly. In addition, profession associates should be founded to regulate the practice of practitioners so natural medicine could be more evidence-based and professional. The health of general public can be protected.

It would be fortunate for the people on this earth to resolve all the issues addressed above.

Yung Ching Ho
Publisher of Natural Medicine Digest
Chief Executive of Asian Region, American Academy of Naturopathic Medicine (AANM)

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