The Six Principals of Naturopathic Medicine

By: Amber Klampferer, ND

The six principles of Naturopathic medicine lay the foundation for Naturopathic philosophy. This philosophy emphasizes identifying the root cause of disease while treating the person as a whole and stimulating the body to heal itself using the least invasive tools necessary. The therapeutic order (chance to reference Carrie’s post) is built upon these principles.

The six principles of Naturopathic medicine:

  1. Primum Non Nocere: First do no harm
    1. Naturopathic doctors take an oath to avoid harm in these three ways while working with a patient:
      1. Utilizing treatments that use the least amount of force necessary to diagnose and treat, and also minimize the risk for side effects.
      2. When possible, avert harmful suppression of disease
      3. Recognize, work with, and respect that each individual’s healing process is unique to them
  1. Vis Medicatrix Naturae: The Healing Power of Nature
    1. Naturopathic doctors recognize each individual’s inherent self-healing potential, and act to identify and eliminate any obstacles to cure. Naturopathic doctors work with each patient to facilitate this self-healing process.
  2. Tolle Causam: Identify and Treat the Cause
    1. Naturopathic doctors believe it is important to identify the root cause of disease, so that treatment can be targeted to the source and therefore provide an opportunity for the best health outcome possible.
  3. Tolle Totum: Treat the Whole Person
    1. Naturopathic medicine is a distinct branch of holistic medicine that emphasizes optimizing each individual’s mental, physical, and spiritual health.
  4. Docere: Doctor as Teacher
    1. Naturopathic doctors strive to educate patients and encourage each patient to take responsibility for their own health. A Naturopathic doctor provides the patient with the tools necessary to initiate their own healing.
  5. Praevenic: Prevention
    1. Naturopathic medicine seeks to prevent disease by identifying each individual’s risk factors and susceptibility to disease.

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