Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (Principle 6)

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Benjamin Franklin

A major aspect of Naturopathy is its focus on preventative healthcare and our role as “Docere” is to teach patients the meaning of Disease Prevention and Health promotion.

To teach them to be ‘proactive’ in maintaining health rather than solely being ‘reactive’ to treating disease.

Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is a continual process that [1]:

  • starts at pre-conception and continues throughout life;
  • is maintained through cultivating one’s vital force and by the body’s homeostatic mechanisms
  • involves every aspect of a person – their health history, life experiences, lifestyle, eating habits, mental and emotional health, social relationships;
  • considers the impact of a person’s environment and how they live in harmony with nature
  • for some, may require gradual but significant changes to their current way of life and thinking

It may seem odd but the ultimate goal of a naturopathic physician is to “graduate” their patients from their clinic with the tools to maintain health and wellness and prevent disease.

To do so, a Naturopath needs to first assess risk factors, determine susceptibility to disease and introduce appropriate therapeutic interventions that address the Root Cause and Treat the Whole Person.

Once the disease is treated, the focus would be on education (see previous post “Docere, Doctor as Teacher”).


In summary,

  • Initially, the naturopathic physician may focus on treating disease.
  • However in time, when health is regained, the focus will shift towards preventing disease and maintaining health through diet, lifestyle and mindset.
  • This is done through facilitating awareness, as well as educating clients on health promotion and disease prevention

The next and final part of this series is the 7th Naturopathic Principle:

Wellness

I hope this has been of benefit to you.
Do leave a comment for questions or personal experiences that could benefit others.
Share if you found it useful and subscribe below for updates on future posts.

Peace, Love & Health
J.T.

Posts in this series:

  1. What is Naturopathy?
  2. Overview of the Naturopathic Profession
  3. Naturopathic Philosophies: Vitalism and Holism
  4. “First, Do No Harm” (Naturopathic Principle 1)
  5. “The Healing Power of Nature” (Naturopathic Principle 2)
  6. “Treat the Cause” (Naturopathic Principle 3)
  7. “Treat the WHOLE PERSON” (Naturopathic Principle 4)
  8. “Doctor as Teacher” (Naturopathic Principle 5)

References

  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

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