Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

The following is an outline of the principles upheld by Naturopathic Doctors. These six principles form the foundation of the naturopathic approach to health and healing.

The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)

Our bodies have the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. Naturopathic Doctors choose treatments which work to restore and support the powerful and innate capacity of your body, mind, and spirit and to prevent further disease from occurring. Naturopathic Doctors identify and remove obstacles to recovery, facilitating and augmenting this ordered and intelligent healing process.

First, Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)

Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes nontoxic, natural forms of therapy and gentle, noninvasive treatments. Naturopathic Doctors acknowledge, respect, and work with the individual’s self-healing process, and minimize the harmful suppression of symptoms.

Identify and Treat the Cause

In addition to alleviating the acute and chronic symptoms of disease, Naturopathic Doctors seek to identify and remove the underlying causes. By applying treatments to address the root cause of illness, we help move individuals toward achieving and maintaining an optimal state of health.

Treat the Whole Person

Rather than simply addressing a set of symptoms, naturopathic medicine emphasizes treating each person as the unique individual that they are, acknowledging that disease affects the whole person, not just a specific organ or system. As well, we recognize that disease affects each person differently. Naturopathic Doctors take into account not only physical symptoms but also mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, spiritual, and other factors.

Doctor as Teacher (Docere)

“Doctor” comes from the Latin, docere, to teach. Education is power. Naturopathic Doctors share information and knowledge with their patients and the general public in order to encourage self-responsibility for health, and enhance the health of society in general.

Prevention and Health Promotion

Part of the Naturopathic Doctor’s oath is a pledge to teach the principles of healthy living, thereby promoting health and preventing illness. Naturopathic Doctors emphasize prevention by assessing risk factors, heredity, and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness and promote wellness.

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