Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

What are the principles of naturopathic medicine, why are they important, and how do I put them into practice?

Good questions!

Let me explain.

There are six foundational principles of naturopathic medicine that guide the practice of all naturopathic physicians. For my very first blog post, I thought it might be a good idea to start with the foundations. So here it goes!  

1. First, Do No Harm
So simple, yet important enough to make it into our guiding principles. I always keep this principle at the forefront when making recommendations. Naturopathic physicians follow something called the "therapeutic order" when making recommendations. This means that we utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies, whenever possible. And guiding the therapeutic order is the principle of first do no harm. More on the therapeutic order in a future blog post. 

2. The Healing Power of Nature
This means trusting in the body’s inherent ability to heal itself. My role is to provide you with the tools and support to allow your body to do just that. Our bodies want to be healthy. Sometimes they just need a little help to put them on the right path. That may mean getting the right nutrients, finding ways to get proper sleep, removing toxic exposures, addressing endocrine imbalances or providing support to address underlying infections. I help you to figure out how we can remove those obstacles to cure to help the body do what it does best.

3. Identify and Treat the Causes
Naturopathic physicians don't just treat symptoms. We look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause. Symptoms are messages that our bodies put out to let us know that something is wrong. Just treating the symptoms at the surface level does not lead to whole health. I work with you as a detective to determine what these underlying causes are and give recommendations for creating health from the roots up.

4. Doctor as Teacher
This one is huge. Huge! Naturopathic physicians aim to educate patients in the steps needed to achieve and maintain health. My goal is to empower you to take control of your health. This is one reason that my appointments are longer than you are likely used to. I don't want to just give you recommendations and send you on your way. I want you to know why I am making those recommendations. Because if you know why, you are more empowered. And ultimately, the end goal is that you will be so empowered that will not need me any more.

5. Treat the Whole Person
We are not cars, therefore I will not take a mechanistic approach to your health care. Naturopathic physicians view the body as an integrated whole and consider the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions. We are all unique, complex, multi-level and interconnected individuals. In order to provide the best recommendations that I can, I want to get to know the whole you. I don't just want to know your diagnoses or latest lab values (although those are important!). I want to hear your story. Because your whole story, like you, is important.

6. Prevention
Naturopathic physicians emphasize prevention at all stages of life. The old adage, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is held in high regard by NDs. I not only consider your past and current state of health when making recommendations, but also consider your future health. Setting up the right conditions for health now means less problems later on. I work with you to create optimal conditions to allow for a brighter future.

Well there you have it. Now you know the principles of naturopathic medicine. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free 15 minute consultation to see if naturopathic medicine is for you, click below:

In health, 
Dr. Khaira