Six principles guide the practice of naturopathic medicine:
Primum non nocere (First do no harm) – Naturopathic doctors use treatments that are least likely to cause side effects, while still being efficacious. Naturopathic doctors avoid suppressing of symptoms, instead helping patients to regain health.
Vis medicatrix naturae (The healing power of nature) – Naturopathic doctors know that when people are given the nutrients and skills they need, their bodies have an immense ability to heal themselves. Naturopathic doctors treat disease by removing obstacles to the health, and by using substances to help the body bring itself back into balance.
Tolle causam (Treat the cause) – Naturopathic doctors always seek to treat the underlying causes of illness, rather than just suppressing symptoms. Naturopathic doctors help patients achieve health, rather than managed illness.
Tolle totum (Treat the whole) – When treating illness, naturopathic doctors always look at the whole person: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Naturopathic doctors never look at health problems as isolated, and recommend treatments that promote health in all areas of life.
Docere (Doctor as teacher) – Naturopathic doctors recognize that the true meaning of ‘doctor’ is ‘teacher’. In my work with patients, I 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) – Two centuries ago, Ben Franklin said that, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ Naturopathic doctors seek to prevent disease with their patients, acknowledge their patients’ unique challenges, and support them in meeting their long-term health goals.