Our Six Guiding Principles
First Do No Harm
“First do no harm” was Hippocrates’ instruction to physicians and may be thought of as an application of The Golden Rule. Whatever intervention a doctor can make in a patient’s health and life, the only acceptable action is one that will do no further damage to the patient’s health. How much more sensible does it get than to remember the rule first learned as toddlers: “Don’t hurt anybody.”
Healing Occurs By Way Of Nature
Second, naturopaths rely on the healing power of nature to help restore patients to complete health. The really excellent naturopath is one who knows how to “work the modalities”: that is to be able to draw from the vast materia medica of natural materials to help the sick get well and be able to apply them to the great variety and complication of illnesses that are common today.
Treat the whole person
Another principle is to treat the whole person. Naturopaths know better than to give you a medication that will heal the stomach while hurting the heart, or that will clear up the skin while skewing your hormones out of balance. Naturopaths are trained to respect the whole patient, not just the small part of the body with obvious symptoms. In other words, if you need medicine for your lungs, the job of the naturopath is to make sure that what you get is completely good for all of you.
Treat The Cause
The fourth principle is to treat the cause. This means if you have say arteriosclerosis, which has led to heart problems and high blood pressure, the naturopath does not treat the blood pressure right away. The naturopath goes to the cause of the problem and treats the hardening of the arteries, because when you clean out the arteries, the blood pressure comes down, and the heart is able to heal. So that way you solve all three problems instead of just one.
To prevent disease is another naturopathic principle, and one that is closest to the long-term naturopathic goal of helping patients to achieve a healthy life. This improved lifestyle is what enables the body to regain homeostasis, to strengthen the immune system and to better deflect the constant stresses and toxic conditions that an industrial society imposes. Our study and practice of environmental medicine teaches the importance of removing toxins from the immediate environment (and ideally the larger environment) as well as from the patient’s body.
Doctor As Teacher
Perhaps the last principle is most important of all. In order to best help patients; it is even more important for a doctor to be a teacher more than a healer. In accordance with the idea that if you give someone a fish he may eat that day, but if you teach him to fish he may eat for a lifetime, the doctor must teach how to heal. Ultimately, the most successful patients learn to take responsibility for their own health, with the doctor acting as a resource and tutor toward that goal.