Philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic physicians are primary care and specialty doctors who address the underlying cause of disease through effective, individualized natural therapies that integrate the healing powers of body, mind and spirit.
Naturopathic physicians are unique in providing diagnosis and treatment that bridges both conventional and natural medicine perspectives; they integrate scientific research with the healing powers of nature.
The goal of a naturopathic physician is to employ therapies that support and promote the body's natural healing process, leading to the highest state of wellness.
As professional leaders and pioneers in science-based natural medicine, naturopathic physicians advocate the development of professional standards, accountability, and regulation of all forms of medicine in all jurisdictions to maintain public safety and freedom of choice in health care. Further, we support broad inclusion, collaboration and equal access in the health care system at all levels.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
These principles form the characteristic foundation and core of Naturopathic medicine. Naturopathic doctors aim to integrate every one of these principles into all aspects of diagnosis and treatment.
1. The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): In every living organism there exists an inherent ability of the body, mind and spirit to heal itself. Naturopathic doctors stimulate this innate healing power by using methods that are in harmony with this natural process.
2. First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic doctors choose the least invasive, most non-toxic treatment that will restore health. This minimizes harmful side effects and avoids the simple suppression of symptoms.
3. Identify and Treat the Cause of Disease (Tolle Causam): Whereas conventional medicine focuses on alleviating symptoms, Naturopathic medicine uses these symptoms as a guide to identify the underlying cause of illness. It is only through removal of the cause that complete health can be restored.
4. Treat the Whole Person: Disease process results from a complex interaction of mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, genetic, social and environmental factors. Naturopathic doctors consider all of these factors in each patient, in order to most optimally individualize treatment of the whole person.
5. Emphasize Prevention: At no other time in history has preventive medicine been so critical to one's health as it is today. In today's world, more stressors are impinging upon our lives than ever before, from hectic lifestyles to toxins present in our food, air and water. Naturopathic doctors teach their patients how to avoid these stressors, thereby helping them maximize health and prevent chronic disease.
6. Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic doctors act as guides for their patients, empowering them to take responsibility for their own health. As teachers, they help the patient fully understand their disease process and the rationale for treatments prescribed.