Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct primary health care profession that combines the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices -naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic health, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using natural therapies that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic physicians help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore itself and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create an internal and external healing environment.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The following principles are the foundation upon which Naturopathic medicine is built:
Vis Medicatrix Naturae, The Healing Power of Nature
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent ordered and intelligent self-healing process in each patient. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
Tolle Causam, Identify and Treat the Causes
The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
Primum Non Nocere, First Do No Harm
Naturopathic physicians follow guidelines to ensure noninvasive treatment of the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects; using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat.
- Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms.
- Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual’s self-healing process.
Docere, Doctor as Teacher
Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor/patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account an individual’s physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, spiritual, and other factors that contribute to one’s health.
Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease-assessing factors, heredity, and susceptibility to disease and work toward making the appropriate decisions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.