Naturopathic doctors emphasize clinical and laboratory diagnostic testing, nutritional medicine, botanical medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, minor surgery, intravenous and injection therapy, naturopathic physical medicine, counseling, naturopathic obstetrics (natural childbirth), environmental medicine, and pharmaceuticals as needed.
Naturopathic Medicine conveys six basic principles compatible with natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the integrity of the whole person.
First Do No Harm (Primun Non Nocere), utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies. Illness is a purposeful process of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms, which are, in fact, an expression of the life force attempting to heal itself. Naturopathic physician includes therapeutic actions that are complementary to and synergistic with the healing process.
Identify and Treat the Cause (Tolle Causum), illness does not occur without a cause. Underlying cause of a disease must be discovered and removed or treated in order for a person to recover completely from illness. Causes of a disease may occur on many levels including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Naturopathic physician utilizes clinical and laboratory diagnostic testing to evaluate the fundamental underlying causes.
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae), the body has an inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. It is the physician’s role to support and facilitate this process by identifying and removing obstacles to health and recovery. Once body’s internal and external environments are supported, the power of nature will allow the body to heal itself.
Treat The Whole Person (Tolle Totum); health and disease are conditions of the whole organism, a whole involving the complex interaction of many factors. The physician must treat the whole person.
The Physician as Teacher (Docere), a cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value. The quality of a patient's relationship with a doctor can affect not only a patient's emotional responses, but also behavioral and medical outcomes such as compliance and recovery. The physician’s major role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for health. The physician is a catalyst for healthful change; empowering and motivating the patient to assume responsibility. Teaching with hope, knowledge, and understanding, the physician acts to enable patients to heal. However, it is the patient who ultimately creates and accomplishes healing.
Prevention (Praevenire), the ultimate goal of any health care system should be prevention of a disease. This is accomplished through education and promoting life-habits for good health. The physician learns to assess risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to diseases and applies appropriate interventions to avoid further harm and risk to patient. The emphasis is on building health rather than on fighting a disease.