“I have a profound respect for the ability of the body to heal itself. I guide my practice using the principles of Naturopathic Medicine.”
Dr. Amy Haynes, N.D.
Naturopathic medicine emphasizes the body’s inherent self-healing process through the use of natural and therapeutic methods and substances. Dr. Amy Haynes has been practicing in her Missoula, Montana clinic since 1984 and has seen patients with a wide range of ailments. Chronic disease has now replaced accidents and acute illness as the leading cause of suffering and death. The number and range of these chronic diseases is continually growing at breakneck speed. The good news is that chronic disease still has a strong answer in naturopathic medicine. With a basis in traditional healing methods that have proven successful over time, naturopathy also includes modern, scientific and empirical methods. True healing requires a focus on the interplay between bodily systems as a whole, rather than treating symptoms individually as they emerge one after the other.
People come to our clinic as a last effort for what has seemed like a hopeless pursuit toward healing. They are often grappling with the idea that they may have to learn to live with their maladies for the rest of their lives. While there are certain physical issues that may be permanent, natural healing always improves a person’s health; oftentimes, dramatically. Our patients are always thankful to have re-discovered confidence in their body’s ability and tendency to heal itself with proper support and healing treatments.
PRINCIPLES OF NATUROPATHIC PHILOSOPHY
1. THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE – The healing power of nature is the inherent self-organizing and healing process of living systems that establishes, maintains and restores health. Naturopathic medicine recognizes this healing process to be ordered and intelligent. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to support, facilitate and augment this process by identifying and removing obstacles to health and recovery, and by supporting the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
2. IDENTIFY AND TREAT THE CAUSE – Illness does not occur without cause. Causes may originate in many areas. Underlying causes of illness and disease must be identified and removed before complete recovery can occur. Symptoms can be expressions of the body’s attempt to defend itself, to adapt and recover, to heal itself, or may be results of the causes of disease. The naturopathic physician seeks to treat the causes of disease, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
Dr. Haynes utilizes a broad range of diagnostic tools, including: complete history, physical exam, blood work, specialized allergy testing, environmental toxins and metals testing, in-office lab work, urine profiles, saliva profiles and stool analysis.
3. FIRST, DO NO HARM – Naturopathic physicians follow three precepts to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances that minimize the risk of harmful effects, and apply the least possible force or intervention necessary to diagnose illness and restore health.
- Whenever possible, avoid the suppression of symptoms, which generally interferes with the healing process.
- Respect and work with the healing power of nature in diagnosis, treatment and counseling- for if this self-healing process is not respected the patient may be harmed.
4. DOCTOR AS TEACHER – The original meaning of the word doctor is “teacher.” A principal objective of naturopathic medicine is to educate the patient and emphasize self-responsibility for health. Naturopathic physicians also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
5. TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON – Health and disease result from a complex of physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development. Naturopathic medicine recognizes the harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual as being essential to health. The multifactorial nature of health and disease requires a personalized and comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment. Naturopathic physicians treat the whole person, taking all of these factors into account.
6. PREVENTION – Naturopathic medical colleges emphasize the study of health as well as disease. The prevention of disease and the attainment of optimal health in patients are primary objectives of naturopathic medicine. In practice, these objectives are accomplished through education and the promotion of healthy ways of living. Naturopathic physicians assess risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and make appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine asserts that one cannot be healthy in an unhealthy environment and is committed to the creation of a world in which humanity may thrive.