Naturopathic physicians practice the six fundamental principles of naturopathic medicine:
Vis Medicatrix Naturae – The Healing Power of Nature
Tolle Causum – Identify and Treat the Causes
Nocere – First Do No Harm
Docere – Doctor as Teacher
Tolle Totum – Treat the Whole Person
Preventare – Prevention
When a seed is sewn in the earth, it first grows its roots and takes hold of the ground beneath. The roots become the foundation of the plant or tree that emerges from the seed. When this plant or tree has become established and grown many branches and leaves, it cannot be easily damaged or diminished by just cutting branches and trimming.
Similarly, treatment of the symptoms of a disease only provide temporary and superficial relief. On the other hand, treating the root cause of the disease process can help to dismantle the foundation of the disease. With a weakened foundation, the VIS, the body’s natural healing mechanisms can get ahead of the disease process.
In order to accomplish this, it is essential to identify the cause of the disease process. Here-in the art of medicine is revealed.
To identify the cause of disease is to walk back on the path that the disease process has taken in arriving at the present state. Unfolding the unique story that the patient carries reveals the clues that help identify the physiological insults, traumatic incidents, mistakes, unhealthy behaviors, and imbalances that have guided the disease to the present moment. The keen physician diagnoses the physiological patterns that have been created and manifest as the disease symptoms.
The seed of disease may have sprouted in a specific moment but it is the story of disease that can help to understand the totality of symptoms and arrive at an individualized understanding of the disease. Thus, the physician must learn the full story, see the whole picture to fully grasp the individual.
To treat the cause is to transform the disease history into a healing story. This is done through comprehensive offering of physical, mental/emotional, energetic, and spiritual medicine.