A Secret About Naturopathic Medicine

Most people don’t know this secret about naturopathic medicine: Every naturopathic doctor has an ally in the room when they’re with a patient.

Want to guess what it is? It’s not some special book. It’s not a fancy online resource. Nor is it a strange old-timey medicine. Nope. It exists within the patient themselves: it is the wisdom and ability of the body to heal.

I call it an ally because this healing capacity and I are on the same team. When a patient comes to see me, both I and the special capacity they have to heal are working to help them overcome their current medical struggle so that they can feel vibrant and healthy.

I call it a secret because conventional medicine doesn’t formally recognize this powerful force, yet it is written right into the manifesto of naturopathic medicine--called the Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine—where this healing force is called vis medicatrix naturae or “the healing power of nature”. I also call it a secret because it’s tricky to talk about it. We don’t have a good word for the concept of this healing force in English, and sometimes it comes across like sci-fi spirituality, as in Star Wars. But, there it is, a real thing that we see in action all the time in our patients.

In fact, you have this powerful force within you too. Just think back to a time when you cut yourself. What were your options but to clean the wound, dress it with a bandage and wait? What healed your cut? It wasn’t the bandage. Somehow your body had the wisdom and ability to mend the injury and replace it with tough skin. What a miracle! This healing capacity is active at every level of the being, including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Sometimes though, this powerful healing force is inhibited, preoccupied or weakened, and as a naturopathic doctor, it’s my job to make sure it is supported. This can be done through lifestyle modification, nutritional supplementation, herbal medicine and countless other interventions. Be sure to schedule an appointment to discuss any of your health goals so we can get you feeling better.

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Katy Morrison, ND, LAc