Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body's inherent ability, which is ordered and intelligent, to heal itself. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to recovery, and to facilitate and augment this healing ability.
Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)
The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to eliminate or merely suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic medicine follows three principles to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects;
- Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms;
- Acknowledge and respect the individual's healing process, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat illness.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
Naturopathic physicians educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic physicians treat each individual by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual path.
Naturopathic doctors emphasize disease prevention, risk factors, and determine hereditary susceptibility to disease; they then make appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine strives to create a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.
Wellness follows the establishment and maintenance of optimum health and balance. Wellness is a state of being healthy, characterized by positive emotion, thought, and action. Wellness is inherent in everyone, no matter what dis-ease(s) is/are being experienced. If an individual recognizes and experiences wellness, it will more quickly heal a given dis-ease compared with direct treatment of the dis-ease alone. (This principle was adopted by Bastyr University and added to the six principles.)
Courtesy of Bastyr University