An Introduction to the Naturopathic Principles
Written by Chantelle van der Weyden BPsych (Hons), AdvDip(Nat), AdvDip(NutMed)
As natural health practitioners, we take a patient-centred approach. We are guided by the patient in front of us and the understanding that each individual is unique. As such, naturopathic treatments are tailored to the individual and the unique factors contributing to their disease presentation.
The practice of naturopathic medicine is built upon seven guiding principles upon which practitioners base their care:
- First do no harm (primum non nocere)
- The Healing Power of Nature (vis medicatrix naturae)
- Identify and treat the cause (tolle causum)
- Treat the whole person.
- Doctor as teacher (docere)
- Disease prevention and health promotion.
These principles are entwined whereby vis medicatrix naturae sees the practitioner supporting the patient to find the cause (tolle causum) of their disease picture. The practitioner must then do no harm (primum non nocere) by using safe, gentle, and non-invasive treatment methods as found in nature, and to encourage prevention and wellness by educating (docere) the patient on practices of good health for the mind, body and soul.1
Naturopathic medicine works towards “the restoration of health” as opposed to “identify and treat the disease”.2 We believe the human body has the innate ability to heal and maintain health and wellbeing when given the opportunity to do so. When a patient sits down in front of us we don’t necessarily see them as suffering a “disease”, rather we see a process of dis-ease or disturbance within the context of human nature.2 We support the patient to determine what might be disturbing their health. There are a multitude of factors that can disturb one’s health including poor diet, lack of exercise or sleep, stress, lack of connection, environmental pollutants and toxins, compromised digestion and elimination, just to name a few. As disturbances are identified and naturopathic support is provided to modify these, the patient will find that vital force is reignited and their health improves – just as nature intends.
Here at Biomedica, we hold these naturopathic principles close to our hearts and they guide all that we do. We support our practitioner’s work with their patients in this same way.
Stay tuned as we bring you a weekly series on the Naturopathic Principles and Philosophies.
- Sarris, J. & Wardle, J (2019). Clinical Naturopathy (3rd Ed.). Chatswood: Elsevier.
- Pizzorno, J. E. & Murray, M. T. (2005). Textbook of Natural Medicine (3rd Ed.). Churchill