The primary question for this text to answer is: How does the naturopathic physician work with nature to restore health?
In the vitalist tradition health is seen as balance. Movement away from balance results in the adaptations that we call symptoms. The Vital Force is always striving to maintain or restore balance. The naturopathic physician works with the Vis medicatrix naturae in its effort to restore balance, not against it by treating or suppressing the adaptations or symptoms generated by the attempt by the body to restore itself.
Our book takes this fundamental question, lays out the theoretic basis of our medicine and examines it in some detail. We begin with an examination of the principles by which we have defined our medicine. We then examine the clinical theory which has grown out of these principles. This leads to an examination of some (all?) of the various specialty and modality aspects of the medicine and discusses them in relationship to the fundamental question: how they are applied and integrated to help the naturopathic physician restore health. For example, chapters on modalities should address how each modality works with nature to restore health rather than discuss the technical details of the application of this modality. If medicine is an art, the naturopathic physician is an artist well schooled in a number of different therapeutic modalities, whose expertise integrates the many healing modalities into the restoration of health. How does any therapeutic intervention further the goal of restoring health and integrate with the overall objective of the naturopathic physician?
All other goals and objectives defined in this textbook initiative rest on this fundamental question. Answering this throughout the text is the voice of the text, which is also the further development and articulation of our understanding of naturopathic medicine into the 21st century. The Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine will bring the voices of almost two hundred doctor/artists to answer the prime question. These many voices are stitched into one by this common thread: The physician assists nature in restoring the sick to health.
(This short message grew out of discussions with several of the working groups in trying to articulate more clearly the unifying theme or voice of this project.)
Jim Sensenig ND, Jared Zeff ND, Pamela Snider ND Copyright 2005 Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine Project – Use with Permission only