The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice:
- 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, working 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 individual self-healing processes.
- 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 individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social factors into account. Naturopathic physicians also 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 by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.