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Naturopathic Principles: First, Do No Harm

Date: 11-03-2021

Written by Chantelle van der Weyden BPsych (Hons), AdvDip(Nat), AdvDip(NutMed)


Naturopathy and natural medicine stems from the application and interplay of the seven naturopathic principles that we discussed last fortnight. These principles impact every aspect of the therapeutic exchange – assessment, diagnosis and treatment.

The primary naturopathic principle by which we are guided is First, Do No Harm (primum non nocere).

Here, we ask ourselves as practitioners “what is the minimum level of intervention needed to facilitate the self-healing process?” We generate a treatment strategy that is the most gentle and least invasive for each individual patient – that stimulates the body’s own ability to heal. We recognise that health can be restored by modifying ones diet and lifestyle, and by removing environmental, social and psychological stressors. By respecting the holistic nature of each patient and their health, we ensure that the healing process is supported rather than suppressed.

We recognise the scope within which we are trained. We educate ourselves and seek guidance with respect to diseases processes, are aware of safety issues and are very mindful of herb-drug-nutrient interactions. We refer on to other practitioners when necessary. We also recognise that we practice complimentary medicine – our role is to complement any other intervention that has been applied.