The 6 Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

principles-naturopathic-medicineNaturopathic doctors use a wide range of diagnostic tools and healing therapeutics, but the practice is always grounded in the six core principles of naturopathy. Dr. Stills meditates deeply upon these principles before stepping into the room with a patient.

1. Healing power of nature (Vis medicatrix naturae)

Naturopathic treatments work in harmony with the immune system to increase strength and vitality. They’re rooted in a respect for nature that includes honoring our fellow human beings and our body’s powerful, natural healing processes.

2. First, do no harm (Primum non nocere)

The approaches used in naturopathic medicine are designed to be safe and non-invasive, with a minimal risk of side effects.

3. Find and treat the cause (Tolle causum)

Naturopathic doctors honor symptoms as the body’s way of communicating problems. We generally do not treat the symptoms, which would be like working on the “check engine” light of a car rather than exploring and fixing problems in the engine. Symptoms naturally resolve when their root causes are discovered and healed.

4. Treat the whole person (Tolle totum)

Each person’s body and experiences are unique, as are his or her dynamics of physical, emotional and mental interactions. When these dynamics become imbalanced, we’re more susceptible and vulnerable to disease. Naturopathic medicine heals by restoring balance with appropriate treatments, honoring that our individuality means disease manifests differently in different people.

5. Prevent disease (Prevenir)

When we take responsibility for our circumstances and life patterns, we begin to see the imbalances that compromise our health. To prevent minor illnesses from developing into serious disease, naturopathic doctors work with patients to identify areas in their lives that need attention and develop strategies for positive change.

6. Physician as teacher (Docere)

Disease can not only reconnect us to our innate healing abilities, it motivates us to open up to the help and love of others. Naturopathic doctors leverage that opportunity to educate patients so that healing can occur. The process deepens compassion and empowers patients to share their experiences, becoming teachers in turn to help catalyze the healing process in others.