An art and a science
© Thomas A. Kruzel, ND
One of the reasons naturopathic medicine has become so popular is that the human organism has an innate need to restore itself to a balanced state of health, and this resonates with naturopathic philosophy. Additionally, naturopathic therapies are generally nontoxic, gentle to the body and very effective for most diseases or phases of the disease process.
Dr. Kruzel is past President of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP).
Because of its folk tradition and eclectic nature, naturopathy has drawn from many traditions to define itself. There has always been an openness to new therapeutic modalities that aid in the healing process, regardless of their source, as long as they conform to the philosophy of the medicine. Therefore, naturopathic physicians will often utilize new therapies long before conventional medicine "discovers" them, as long as they do no harm to the patient and withstand scientific and clinical scrutiny.
Medicine is an art as well as a science; there cannot be one without the other. The art of medicine gives rise to the science of medicine, and in turn, science gives birth to the art by positing more questions once the science has been delineated. This is part of the ongoing dance of the yin and yang of the universe that is firmly rooted in nature and in our DNA.
Naturopathic physicians consider the art as well as the science of medicine when evaluating the patient and the best treatment. Naturopathic medicine views the signs and symptoms of the disease process to be an attempt by the body to heal itself, and therefore are in need of enhancement, rather than suppression. Naturopathic philosophy holds the ideal that the body has the innate ability to heal itself and, with the proper stimulus, completely correct the imbalance, provided there has been no permanent damage to the organism. In contrast allopathic philosophy stresses containment of symptoms rather than removal of the disease process.
Naturopathic medicine is a patient-centered medicine emphasizing "patient care" rather than "disease care," following Sir William Osler’s admonition that "It is more important to know what patient has the disease than to know what disease the patient has."
One of the reasons naturopathic medicine has become so popular is that the human organism has an innate need to restore itself to a balanced state of health and thus resonates with naturopathic philosophy. Additionally, naturopathic therapies are generally nontoxic, gentle to the body and very effective for most diseases or phases of the disease process. This, along with an emphasis on whole person care, allows for a more effective and lasting treatment.
© Thomas A Kruzel, ND
Thomas A. Kruzel N.D. is a naturopathic physician in private practice at the Rockwood Natural Medicine Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. He received a BA in Biology from the California State University at Northridge, and his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. Dr. Kruzel is also a board certified Medical Technologist. He completed 2 years of Family Practice Medicine residency at the Portland Naturopathic Clinic where he was chief resident prior to entering private practice. He also completed a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine through the Oregon Geriatric Education Center and the Portland VA Medical Center.
He has been an Associate Professor of Medicine at National College of Naturopathic Medicine where he has taught Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Geriatric Medicine and Clinical Urology. He is the author of the Homeopathic Emergency Guide A Quick Reference Handbook to Effective Homeopathic Care published by North Atlantic Books and Haug Publishers Germany, and has published numerous articles in The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine as well as other publications. He also is the author of the Natural Medicine Pediatric Home Health Advisor. He has been a member of the Alternative Medicine Review Editorial Review Board since 1997 and editor of the Clinical Medicine section of the Foundations Medical Textbook. He is also the past president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and was selected as Physician of the Year by the AANP in 2000 and Physician of the Year by the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association in 2003.
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