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Lady Medicine in herbal dispensary

Naturopathic Doctors are guided by six principles, which form the foundation of the naturopathic approach to health and healing, and uniquely differentiates Naturopathic Doctors from other medical health professionals.

First Do No Harm

Naturopathic Doctors are directed to always perform the treatment which will bring about the least harm by observing the following:

  • Use methods and medicines that minimize the risk of harmful side effects
  • Use the least force necessary to diagnose and treat illness
  • Avoid the harmful suppressing of symptoms, when possible
  • Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual self-healing process

 

Vis Medicatrix Naturae

This Latin phrase roughly translates to “The Healing Power of Nature.” Naturopathic Doctors recognize that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. This ordered and intelligent healing process is inherent to every individual, and shows how the body will naturally strive towards a healthy state. A great example of this process is the body’s ability to heal broken bones. Naturopathic Doctors work to identify and remove the obstacles that may be impairing the body’s ability to heal itself, and to facilitate and augment this self-healing process.

 

Treat the Cause

Naturopathic Doctors not only aim to alleviate symptoms, but primarily seek to identify and treat the underlying causes of the illness or symptom. Rather than merely eliminating or suppressing symptoms, this approach moves the body toward maintaining an optimal state of health.

When a disease is simply addressed on a superficial level, by alleviating a symptom, it is common that this symptom will recur again or new symptoms may present until the root cause is properly addressed. True healing comes when the underlying cause is treated, providing long-term results, not just band-aid solutions.

 

Treat the Whole Person

Naturopathic Doctors take into account the whole person, not just the system that may be presenting the symptom or disease, recognizing that the different parts and systems that make up the human body are connected and greatly affect one another. Further, Naturopathic Doctors recognize that health affects the entire person, not just the physical body, but also the mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and spiritual aspects of a person. Each patient is unique and receives individualized care, which is why Naturopathic Doctors give great consideration to the all unique factors that affect health and disease.

 

Doctor as Teacher

The word “doctor” originates from the Latin word doctoris, which means “teacher.” The role of a Naturopathic Doctor is not only to provide instructions on how to improve your health, but to assist you in understanding your health and illness. A Naturopathic Doctor will provide you with an understanding of the factors that affect your health and help you become capable of maintaining your own state of optimal health. The Naturopathic Doctor is merely a guide, while patients are encouraged to be responsible for their own health and healing. The Naturopathic Doctor provides the knowledge, experience, and expertise in the field of medicine and natural therapies, whereas the patient is the ONLY expert on themselves and their own body. Therefore, true healing comes from the patient, while the Naturopathic Doctor collaborates with the patient to help empower and guide them to health and wellness.

 

Disease Prevention & Health Promotion

Naturopathic Doctors apply all of the above principles in a proactive form of disease prevention and health promotion. Naturopathic Doctors emphasize healthy daily habits, assess risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease, and make appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Health is more than just the absence of disease. Health entails functioning at the highest possible level every day, and is obtained by proper nutrition, exercise, a balanced lifestyle, and positive emotions, thoughts and actions. Naturopathic Doctors believe that the capacity for optimal wellness or an improved quality of life is inherent in everybody and aids the patient in attaining it.