The World Health Organization defines health as

"a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

This definition includes a positive range of health, well beyond the absence of sickness.



The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine


Seven time-tested medical principles on which naturopathic medicine is based:


1) First, do no harm (primum no nocere)


Naturopathic physicians seek to do no harm with medical treatment by employing safe and effective natural therapies.

2) Nature has healing powers (vis medicatrix naturae)


Naturopathic physicians believe that the body has considerable power to heal itself.  It is the role of the physician to facilitate and enhance this process with the aid of natural, nontoxic therapies.

3) Identify and treat the cause (tolle causam)


Naturopathic physicians are trained to seek the underlying causes of a disease rather than to simply suppress the symptoms.  Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body's attempt to heal, while the causes can spring from the physical, mental-emotional, and spiritual levels.


4) Treat the whole person


Naturopathic physicians are trained to view an individual as a whole; composed of a complex set of physical, mental-emotional, spiritual, social, and other factors.


5) The physician is a teacher


Naturopathic physicians are primarily teachers; educating, empowering, and motivating patients to assume more personal responsibility for their health by adopting a healthy attitude, lifestyle, and diet.


6) Prevention is the best cure


Naturopathic physicians are preventative medicine specialists.  Prevention of disease is accomplished through education and encouraging life habits that support health and prevent disease.

7) Establish health and wellness


The primary goals of the naturopathic physician are to establish and maintain optimum health and to promote wellness.  While "health" is defined as that state of optimal physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being; "wellness" is defined as a state of health, characterized by a positive emotional state.  The naturopathic physician strives to increase the patient's level of wellness, regardless of the level of health or disease,  Even in cases of severe disease, a high level of wellness can often be achieved.

* Source: Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised 2nd Edition

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