By Dr. Jeannie Thomason & Dr. Kim Bloomer, Certified Animal Naturopaths and co-founders of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy
Naturopathy is dedicated to the study and celebration of nature’s healing powers! It is as old as healing itself and as new as today’s medical breakthroughs. It is a dynamic philosophy as well as a profession that recognizes the interconnection and interdependence of all living things. It utilizes the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies to promote wellness by viewing the body as an integrated whole.
Naturopathy is defined by principles and it honors the body’s innate wisdom to heal.
The Six Principles of Animal Naturopathy
The Healing Power of Nature. (vix medicatrix naturae) The body has the inherent ability to heal itself. This healing process is intelligent and ordered. Animal naturopathy supports and assists the healing process by identifying and removing obstacles to a cure, and by using nature and nature’s remedies that work with, not against, the body’s natural processes.
Identify and Address the Cause. (tolle causum) Every illness has a cause. Causes may occur on the physical, mental or emotional level. Symptoms are expressions of the body’s attempt to heal, but are not the cause of illness. Animal naturopaths are trained to find and assist the body in removing the underlying cause of an illness rather than just eliminating or suppressing symptoms.
First Do No Harm. (primum non nocere) Animal Naturopaths use nature’s methods that minimize the risk of harmful side effects. Methods designed to suppress symptoms but not remove the underlying cause are usually harmful, their use is always avoided.
Doctor as Teacher. (docere) The original meaning of the word “doctor” is teacher. A principal objective of animal naturopathy is to educate the client and emphasize responsibility for their animal’s health. Animal naturopaths are educators and teachers.
Target the Whole Animal. When evaluating an animal; all aspects of that animal (physical, mental and emotional) are taken into account.
Prevention. Illness or imbalance in the body is due to improper diet, habits, exposure to toxins and general lifestyle. Animal naturopaths assess risk factors and susceptibility to dis-ease and make appropriate recommendations to prevent health challenges, or to prevent existing health challenges from developing into more serious or chronic states. The emphasis is on building health rather than treating disease.