Fundamental Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Nature)
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent ability in the body which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to recovery and to facilitate and augment this healing ability. Your body is working to repair and regenerate every cell in your body every day. For example if you have a cut on your skin then your body will try to repair it, if you have a fracture, you must set the bone and your body can repair the fracture. The key is to create an environment that allows the body to heal itself. This is done by the improving the repair and function of your body while decreasing the breakdown.
Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)
The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than eliminate or merely suppress the symptoms. For example, if you have a headache, is taking pain killer the solution? No, although it will temporarily stop the suffering. Health conscious patients, like ours, are looking for more than just masking symptoms of disease. They wish to understand how their health condition developed so they can treat the cause. Simply, there is much more to a person’s health than just controlling and managing their symptoms. Functional lab testing is also used to help determine the cause.
First Do Not Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic medicine utilizes treatments that minimize the risk of harmful side effects. By respecting the individual’s healing process and 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. By creating a comfortable environment that allows patients to share their experiences, naturopaths are able to provide valuable insight into how to help improve their health. Naturopathic medicine recognizes that true health and well being is based on a patient’s ability to understand his or her state of health.
Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic physicians treat each individual by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Since total health can also include spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual path.
Naturopathic physicians emphasize disease prevention, assessment of risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine strives to create a healthy world in which humanity may thrive. Through education naturopaths can teach patients how to maintain optimal health and prevent future health problems.
Definition of Naturopathic Medicine: AANP Position Paper, 1989 Snider P., Zeff J., Co-Chairs: Select Committee on the Definition of Naturopathic Medicine AANP House of Delegates, Rippling River, Oregon