Six principles guide the practice of naturopathic medicine:
Primum non nocere (First do no harm) – Naturopathic physicians utilize methods and substances that are least likely to cause side effects, while still being efficacious. Naturopathic physicians avoid the suppression of symptoms, instead helping patients to achieve freedom from symptoms.
Vis medicatrix naturae (The healing power of nature) – Naturopathic physicians believe that when people are given the nutrients and skills they need, their bodies have an immense ability to heal themselves. Naturopathic physicians treat disease by removing obstacles to the health, and by using substances and methods which support the body’s ability to bring itself back into balance.
Tolle causam (Treat the cause) – Naturopathic physicians always seek to treat the underlying causes of illness, rather than just suppressing symptoms. Naturopathic physicians help patients achieve health, rather than managed illness.
Tolle totum (Treat the whole) – When treating illness, naturopathic physicians always look at the whole person, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Naturopathic physicians never look at health problems as isolated, and always recommend treatments that promote health in all areas of a patient’s life.
Docere (Doctor as teacher) – Naturopathic physicians recognize that the original meaning of ‘doctor’ was ‘teacher’, and take that to heart. In our work with patients, we strive to teach them about their health, about the cause of their illness, and how to become self-reliant custodians of their own health.
Praevenire (Prevention) – Modern medicine has confirmed over and over again the important role that a healthy diet and regular exercise play in preventing disease. Naturopathic physicians always seek to prevent disease in their patients, acknowledging the unique challenges faced by each of their patients, and supporting them to meet their long-term preventive health goals.