Naturopathic Philosophical Principles
1. Primum no nocere – “First, Do No Harm”
As with any healthcare practitioner, the first objective of the naturopathic doctor is to ensure that any treatment administered brings the patient closer to health rather than farther from it. The vast majority of naturopathic treatments are gentle in nature while also being effective, meaning that healing is achieved with few side effects.
2. Tolle causum – “Treat the Cause”
Rather than simply mask the symptoms of an illness, naturopathic doctors strive to remove or balance the factors that led to the emergence of the condition in the first place. In this way, it is their goal to effect a true health improvement and decrease the need for chronic dependency on naturopathic or conventional interventions.
3. Docere – “Doctor as Teacher”
NDs firmly believe in educating their patients about what is happening in their bodies and minds when illness occurs. This includes discussing mechanisms behind disease, how prescribed treatments will help, and how disease recurrence can be prevented. Patients are always advised on how they can take an active role in their own healing process and are given ongoing support to do so.
4. Vis medicatrix naturae – “Healing Power of Nature”
The body, mind, and emotions have the inherent ability to keep themselves balanced and healthy; however, sometimes factors arise throughout life which disrupt one or more of those areas to such a point where the ability to self-balance is lost, resulting in sickness. It is the role of the naturopathic doctor to determine what is out of alignment and to administer the treatment which will help rekindle that natural balancing ability.
5. Treat the Whole Person
NDs understand the importance of ensuring that the physical, mental, and emotional elements of a patient are all considered during treatment. As both human experience and research have shown, the absence of health in any one of these areas can have a profound impact on the others.
6. Practice Preventative Medicine
While treatment of disease is of great value, the highest goal of medicine is to improve overall wellness - ultimately preventing disease from occurring in the first place. Naturopathic doctors educate their patients on how to enhance their health and also monitor them for early signs of emerging illness so they can be addressed before worsening.