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What are the principles of Naturopathic Medicine?
- The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
- Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam): The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
- First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
- Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and
- Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.
- Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
- Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
- Prevention: Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
What are the risks of Naturopathic Medicine?
"As a Naturopathic Doctor I follow a decision algorithm to ensure that I use the least invasive treatment for each condition. Every time a patient comes to see me, the goal is to use treatments nearest to the top of this list - only moving to the next, more invasive option if necessary. This approach allows me to ensure that the patient is put in the least amount of risk as possible - thereby maximizing their wellness potential." - Dr. McNulty
Naturopathic Medicine Therapeutic Order:
- First Do No Harm
- The Healing Power of Nature (Stimulate the Vis)
- Strengthen Weakened Systems
- Correct Structural Integrity
- Use Natural Interventions (Herbs, Neutraceuticals, etc)
- Use Pharmacological Interventions
- Use high-force interventions (e.g. surgery)