The practice of Naturopathy emerges from six underlying principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in light of scientific analysis. For the naturopathic physician, abiding by these principles forms the basis of all treatment.
The healing power of nature: Vis medicatrix naturae The body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent. The physician’s role is to facilitate and augment this process, to act to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
Identify and treat the cause: Tolle causam Illness does not occur without cause. Underlying causes of disease must be discovered and removed or treated before a person can recover completely from illness. Symptoms are expressions of the body’s attempt to heal, but are not the cause of disease. Symptoms, therefore, should not be suppressed by treatment.
First do no harm: Primum no nocere Illness is a purposeful process of the organism. The process of healing often includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the body attempting to heal itself.
Treat the whole person: The multifactoral nature of health and disease Health and disease are conditions of the whole organism, a whole involving a complex interaction of physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. The physician must treat the whole person by taking all of these factors into account.
The physician as teacher: Docere Beyond an accurate diagnosis and appropriate prescription, the physician must work to create a healthy, sensitive personal relationship with the patient. A cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value. The physician’s major role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for health.
Prevention: Prevention is the best “cure” The ultimate goal of any health care system should be prevention. This is accomplished through education and promotion of life-habits that create good health. The physician assesses risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and makes appropriate interventions to avoid further harm and risk to the patient. The emphasis is on building health rather than fighting disease.