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Philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct, comprehensive system of healthcare emphasizing the use of natural therapies in health promotion and disease prevention. Naturopathic physicians are trained as integrative doctors who emphasize the use of natural therapies to treat acute and chronic illnesses and to provide preventative treatment to individuals. Naturopathic physicians diagnose by taking thorough histories, performing physical examinations and ordering laboratory tests. Naturopathic physicians use a variety of natural and non-invasive treatments, including:

Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is founded upon six guiding principles. It utilizes the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies to promote wellness by viewing the body as an integrated whole. The following are the principles that unite and distinguish naturopathic medicine.

Healing power of nature: vis medicatrix naturae
Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body's inherent healing process, which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to recovery, and to facilitate and augment this healing ability.

Identifying the Causes: tolle causam
The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.

First, Do No Harm: primum non nocere
Naturopathic medicine follows three principles to avoid harming the patient:
  • Use the least force necessary to minimize the risk of harmful side effects
  • Focus on treating the underlying cause of illness while avoiding suppression of symptoms
  • Work with the self healing process
Doctor as Teacher: Docere
Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the healing potential of the doctor-patient relationship.

Treat the Whole Person: holism
Naturopathic physicians treat each individual by taking into account their unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social factors.

Preservation of Health: prevention
Naturopathic physicians work with their patients to assess risk factors and make appropriate interventions to help preserve health and increase wellness.