Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in the person which 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;
- Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual’s 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.
Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease – assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.
Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases using a system of practice that is based on the natural healing capacity of individuals. May use physiological, psychological or mechanical methods. May also use natural medicines, prescription or legend drugs, foods, herbs, or other natural remedies.
(Source: O*Net Online, the government’s resource for jobs and job descriptions in the United States. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-1199.04, Accessed 3/6/2011)
The State of Illinois does not currently license naturopathic physicians. Naturopathic Practitioners in the state of Illinois do not diagnose or treat disease, but serve as Health Consultants.To support ND licensure, please visit the Illinois Association of Naturopathic Physicians website, and take action!