The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

The Healing Power of Nature vis medicatrix naturae

Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent healing ability in the body. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to recovery and to facilitate and augment this healing ability using low force, non-suppressive treatments.

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

1 Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful effects.

2 Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms.

3 Acknowledge and respect the individualís healing process, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat disease.

Doctor as Teacher docere

Naturopathic physicians educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility towards their health. They also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.

Treat the Whole Person tolle totum

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 often encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual path.


Naturopathic physicians emphasize disease prevention, assessment of risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and make appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine strives to create a 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 thought and action. Wellness is inherent in everyone, no matter what dis-ease is present. Recognition and experience of wellness will more quickly heal a dis-ease than direct treatment of the dis-ease alone.


The Therapeutic Order

The therapeutic order is the approach that naturopathic physicians use to guide patients to wellness. They start with the least force and move to more invasive measures as necessary.

1 • Re-establish the basis for health

Remove obstacles to cure by establishing a healthy regimen.

2 • Stimulate the healing power of nature

Use low-force methods such as hydrotherapy, nutrition, homeopathy and acupuncture to stimulate the inherent healing ability of the body.

3 • Tonify weakened systems

Use modalities to strengthen the immune system, decrease toxicity, normalize inflammatory function, optimize metabolic function, balance regulatory systems, enhance regeneration, harmonize life forces.

4 • Correct structural integrity

Use therapeutic exercise, massage, craniosacral therapy and spinal manipulation to optimize structural function.

5 • Prescribe specific natural substances for pathology

Use vitamins, minerals and herbs to promote health.

6 • Prescribe pharmacological substances for pathology

Use pharmacological drugs to return to health.

7 • Prescribe surgery, suppressive drugs, radiation and chemotherapy

Use aggressive therapies to attempt to maintain health.


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