Overview of the Naturopathic Profession

After the previous post about “What is Naturopathy?“, I thought of diving straight into the philosophies at the core of Naturopathic practice worldwide.

However, I reconsidered and thought that a short post about a broad overview of our profession might be better. Kind of like a Table of Contents before diving straight into the ‘book’.

Foundations of the Naturopathic Profession

2 main philosophies, 7 principles and several key theories form the foundation of the Naturopathic profession. [1]

These guide the professional practice of naturopathy all over the globe.


  1. “Vitalism”
  2. “Holism”


  1. Vis Medicatrix Naturae– The Healing Power of Nature
  2. Tolle Totum – Treat the Whole Person
  3. Tolle Causam – Treat the Cause
  4. Primum Non Nocere – First, Do No Harm
  5. Docere– Naturopathic Doctor as Teacher
  6. Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  7. Wellness


  1. Humoral Theory
  2. Therapeutic Order
  3. Emunctories
  4. Theory of Complex Systems

Naturopathic Treatment Modalities

Additionally, there is consensus on seven core modalities used in Naturopathic practice. [1] These include:

  1. Clinical nutrition
  2. Applied nutrition (nutraceuticals and natural health care products)
  3. Herbal medicine
  4. Lifestyle counselling
  5. Hydrotherapy
  6. Homeopathy, including complex homeopathy
  7. Physical modalities based on the treatment modalities taught and allowed within each jurisdiction such as yoga, naturopathic manipulation, osteopathy and muscle release techniques.

One advantage Naturopathy has over other healthcare professions is some “freedom” to integrate other modalities based on traditional health care practices within each region. Examples include energetic techniques like acupuncture and modalities requiring additional education like intravenous therapies, colon therapy and chelation therapy. [2]

So I hope this broad overview gives you a better understanding on the Naturopathic profession.

My next educational article in this Naturopathy series post will delve deeper into the philosophies of Vitalism and Holism!

Stay well,


  1. World Naturopathic Federation. (2017). WNF White Paper: Naturopathic Philosophies, Principles and Theories. Retrieved from http://worldnaturopathicfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/WNF_White_Paper_June-2017.pdf
  2. World Naturopathic Federation. (n.d.). About Naturopathy. Retrieved from http://worldnaturopathicfederation.org/about-naturopathy/

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