Naturopathic Doctors are guided by 6 principles that are founded on traditional medicine and scientific evidence. This set of principles is emphasized throughout the ND’s training and governs the naturopathic approach to health and healing, forming the foundation of this distinct form of health care.
Primum Non Nocere: First do no harm
Naturopathic medicine follows three precepts in order to ensure the patient’s safety:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects.
- Avoid, when possible, the suppression of symptoms, which are the body’s efforts to self-heal. For example, the body mount a fever in reaction to a bacterial infection. Fever creates an inhospitable environment for the harmful bacteria, thereby destroying it. Supporting this natural healing response is important, while always maintaining the safety of the patient.
- Customize each diagnosis and treatment plan to fit each patient. We all heal in different ways and the naturopathic physician respects our differences.
A naturopathic doctor chooses remedies and therapies that are safe and effective, to increase your health and decrease harmful side effects.
Tolle Causam: Identify and treat the cause
The primary goal of naturopathic medicine is to determine and treat the underlying cause of illness. Naturopath’s understand that symptoms will return until the root illness is properly addressed. Symptoms are viewed as the expression of the body’s natural attempt to heal itself.
Docere: Doctor as teacher
Your body is not a secret. In order for a person to obtain optimal health they must first understand how their body works. Naturopathic doctors provide education regarding your health and help you to become more capable of maintaining your own health. Whether it is helping you to understand a health condition, what foods to eat, or why you need certain supplements ND’s are there to provide you with the information that will ultimately help to improve your health. Naturopathic doctors acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.
Vis Medicatrix Naturae: The Healing power of Nature.
Our bodies have a powerful and innate instinct for self-healing. Naturopathic doctors identify and remove obstacles to recovery and aid in nurturing the healing process.
Treat the Whole Person:
Naturopathic medicine takes into account all aspects of an individual when attempting to treat a condition. Not only does it account for the physical symptoms that a person displays, but also the mental, environmental, social and spiritual aspects of the individual. Naturopathic doctors understand that a disease process affects the entire person, not just one part of the body. Looking at your emotional health, nutritional status, family history, lifestyle and environmental factors are all carefully evaluated when preparing a treatment plan for the individual.
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion:
Naturopathic Doctors take a proactive approach to health and apply all of the principles to aid in the prevention of disease. Looking at risk factors and family history aid in determining susceptibility to certain disease states and this can help in developing the appropriate recommendations to prevent illness. Health promotion entails more than just the absence of disease. It is about achieving optimal health through proper nutrition, exercise and balanced mental/emotional health. If we can provide treatment for wellness, we are less likely to require treatment for disease.