The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic education emphasizes the role of a doctor as teacher, educating people about health, disease, treatment options and prevention. Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine are guided by six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine, which emphasize a holistic and natural approach to patient care, evaluation, management, and care for medical conditions.
1) Find and Treat the Cause:
Naturopathic Medicine seeks to find and address the root cause of disease rather than simply to suppress the symptoms. Symptoms such as fever and inflammation, when within normal limits, are viewed as expressions of the body’s natural attempt to heal. Diseases can originate from physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual levels, and, when possible, Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine work to address these levels directly. Also, they work to change aspects of a patient’s life that increase their susceptibility to disease, like lifestyle and nutritional factors.
2) Treat the whole person, Holism:
The individual is viewed as a whole, composed of a complex interaction of lifestyle, diet, nutritional status, environmental toxins, genetic predisposition, and emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and other factors. This multifactorial view results in a therapeutic approach in which no disease is automatically seen as incurable.
3) Do no harm:
Registered Naturopathic Doctors use safe, effective, gentle, and natural therapies to improve the well being of a patient’s health, while limiting risk and adverse effects.
4) The healing power of nature:
Naturopathic Medicine respects the innate intelligence of the human body to heal. This Vital Force is likened or related to the will to live, and works to bring the organism into balance and equilibrium, moving toward a state of optimal health. The role of the naturopathic doctor is to facilitate this natural process biochemically, physiologically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
5) The physician is a teacher:
Docere, the Latin root for doctor means “to teach”. A principle objective of Naturopathic Medicine is to educate, empower, and motivate the patient to assume more personal responsibility for his or her health by adopting a healthy attitude, lifestyle, and diet based on current science and clinically validated therapeutics.
6) Wellness and Prevention are the best cure:
Naturopathic Medicine teaches the benefits of healthy living in order to prevent the development of chronic illness and destructive disease states. Prevention of disease is accomplished through education and promotion of a personal lifestyle that supports health.