Naturopathic medicine is a distinct practice that emphasizes the prevention and treatment of both acute and chronic illnesses relying heavily on the self-healing processes of individuals to restore, and in some cases establish, optimal health. By following this model naturopathic practitioners are better able to treat each person holistically and improve outcomes.
Rather than just suppress symptoms, naturopathic practitioners work to identify underlying causes of illness, and develop personalized wellness plans to address them. The therapeutic order, identifies the natural order in which all therapies should be applied to provide the greatest benefit with the least potential for damage.
The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medicine:
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic practitioners act to identify and remove any obstacles to healing, and to facilitate this inherent self-healing process.
Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam): Naturopathic practitioners seek to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic practitioners are educated and trained in accredited naturopathic medical schools, part of their training includes an oath that they must recite follow; these three guidelines are part of that oath:
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; and
Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic practitioners educate and empower their clients.
Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic practitioners consider the following factors with each of their clients; individuality, physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social health.
Prevention: Naturopathic practitioners emphasize prevention by assessing risk factors, heredity, and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their clients to prevent illness.