THE SIX FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE
Naturopathic medicine is a holistic approach to obtaining and/or maintaining optimal health through natural, non-invasive treatments. Every naturopathic doctor has their own unique combination of methods and tools for their practice but naturopathy, as a whole, is founded on the following six principles:
THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE
The healing power of nature is the inherent self-organizing and healing process of living systems that establishes, maintains and restores health. Naturopathic medicine recognizes this healing process to be ordered and intelligent. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to support, facilitate and augment this process by identifying and removing obstacles to health and recovery, and by supporting the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
IDENTIFY AND TREAT THE CAUSE
Illness does not occur without cause. Causes may originate in many areas. Underlying causes of illness and disease must be identified and removed before complete recovery can occur. Symptoms can be expressions of the body’s attempt to defend itself, to adapt and recover, to heal itself, or may be results of the causes of disease. The naturopathic physician seeks to treat the causes of disease, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
Our providers utilize a broad range of diagnostic tools, including complete history, physical exam, blood work, specialized allergy testing, environmental toxins and metals testing, in-office lab work, urine profiles, saliva profiles and stool analysis.
DO NO HARM
Naturopathic physicians follow three precepts to avoid harming the patient:
Utilize methods and medicinal substances that minimize the risk of harmful effects, and apply the least possible force or intervention necessary to diagnose illness and restore health.
Whenever possible, avoid the suppression of symptoms, which generally interferes with the healing process.
Respect and work with the healing power of nature in diagnosis, treatment, and counseling—for if this self-healing process is not respected the patient may be harmed.
DOCTOR AS TEACHER
The original meaning of the word doctor is “teacher.” A principal objective of naturopathic medicine is to educate the patient and emphasize self-responsibility for health. Naturopathic physicians also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON
Health and disease result from a complex of physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development. Naturopathic medicine recognizes the harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual as being essential to health. The multifactorial nature of health and disease requires a personalized and comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment. Naturopathic physicians treat the whole person, taking all of these factors into account.
Naturopathic medical colleges emphasize the study of health as well as disease. The prevention of disease and the attainment of optimal health in patients are primary objectives of naturopathic medicine. In practice, these objectives are accomplished through education and the promotion of healthy ways of living. Naturopathic physicians assess risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and make appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine asserts that one cannot be healthy in an unhealthy environment and is committed to the creation of a world in which humanity may thrive.