One thing that makes naturopathic medicine different from other forms of health care is that it is guided by a set of principles.
NDs believe these principles are important because they create a strong philosophy regarding illness, healing and continued good health.
A Distinct System Of Care
The application of these principles, listed below, ensure that each patient receives customized treatment that reflects their individuality.
1. First Do No Harm <Primum non nocere>
Naturopathic doctors follow these three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
- Use methods and medicines which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat.
- Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppressing of symptoms.
- Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual’s self-healing process.
- Identify and Treat the Causes <Tolle causam>
Naturopathic doctors seek to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
3. Support the healing power of the body <vis medicatrix naturae>
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in the person which is ordered and intelligent.
Naturopathic doctors identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and facilitate and increase this self-healing process.
- Treat the whole person
Naturopathic doctors treat each patient in his or her entirety by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, spiritual and social factors.
- Emphasize prevention
Naturopathic doctors emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and other susceptibilities to disease, and make appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
- Doctor as Teacher <Docere>
Naturopathic doctors share information and knowledge with their patients and encourage patients to accept responsibility for their health.