The six principles that guide the therapeutic methods and modalities of Naturopathic medicine include:
Primum Non Nocere (First Do No Harm)
Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms;
Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual's self-healing process.
Vis Medicatrix Naturae (The Healing Power of Nature)
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in the person which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
Tolle Causam (Identify and Treat the Cause)
Illness does not occur without cause.
Causes may originate in many areas. Physicians seek and treat the underlying cause of a disease. 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.
Tolle Totum (Treat the Whole Person)
Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors.
The multiple factors in health and disease are considered while treating the whole person. Physicians provide flexible treatment programs to meet individual health care needs.
Docere (Physician as a Teacher)
The physician’s major role is to educate, empower and motivate patients to take responsibility for their own health. Creating a healthy, cooperative relationship with the patient has a strong therapeutic value.
Praevenire (Prevention is the best “cure")
Naturopathic physicians are preventive medicine specialists.
Physicians assess patient risk factors and heredity susceptibility and intervene appropriately to reduce risk and prevent illness. Prevention of disease is best accomplished through education and a lifestyle that supports health. Naturopathic medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.