Naturopathic Medicine is based on the belief that the body has an innate ability to heal;

thus, naturopathic physicians work to support this healing process guided by six fundamental principles:

First do no harm. Naturopathic doctors follow this Hippocratic principle to ensure patient safety and allow for healing, not harm. One of the ways naturopathic medicine avoids harm is by customizing diagnosis and treatment plans to individual patients recognizing that we all heal and respond differently to disease and treatments. In addition, naturopathic medicine starts with the least invasive treatments and moves up the ladder of intervention as necessary. 

The healing power of nature. Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the body has an innate ability to heal; thus, naturopathic treatments are designed to support the body’s own healing process. An example of this healing process is when you have a fever during an infection. The body uses increased internal temperatures to kill bacteria and organisms that are heat-sensitive. Suppressing a fever with tylenol actually interferes with the body’s ability to fight infection. Naturopathic doctors may recommend treatments that both support a fever and make you feel better while your body heals.

Identify and treat the cause. Usually symptoms are a sign of an underlying condition, and are not the disease themselves. Investigating to find out the underlying problem or problems allows for deeper and more long-term healing.

Doctor as teacher. Naturopathic doctors develop a partnership with patients helping them to better understand their bodies, disease processes and available treatment options. This education may also include teaching home remedies that allow patients to take part in their health and develop skills to care for themselves and their families.

Treat the whole person. This principle is the reason naturopathic medicine is often referred to as “holistic” medicine. Different factors can make medicine holistic, one of these is seeing the patient as more than just a disease or symptom with more than just physical health needs. Taking into account a patient’s mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being allows for a comprehensive healing approach.

Prevent illness. Prevention is becoming a more popular topic in healthcare discussions and has long been a guiding principle in naturopathic practice. Prevention not only means better health and quality of life, it also saves money. Naturopathic preventive medicine extends beyond disease screening and includes proactive nutrition and lifestyle habits to promote long-term health and prevent the development of disease.