Naturopathic Theory: The Therapeutic Order

The Therapeutic Order is a theory based on observations of the natural healing process over thousands of years.

It guides naturopathic physicians by providing an order on which to decide which healing modality to apply first.

This stems from the Naturopathic Principle of “Vis medicatrix naturae” (The Healing Power of Nature) which acknowledges that the body knows how to heal itself.

This healing mechanism should be stimulated with the least force possible.

The Therapeutic Order recommends treatments prescribed in the following order:

  1. Establish the Foundations for Optimal Health by removing obstacles to health/healing and assessing determinants of health – e.g. poor diet, lack of sleep, digestive disturbances, chronic stress, spiritual disharmony, etc.
  2. Stimulate the Vis (Self-Healing Mechanisms) using therapies such as nutrition, lifestyle changes, herbal medicine, change of mindset, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, etc.
  3. Support and Restore Weakened Systems by aiding the regeneration of damaged/dysfunctional organs and tissues using botanical medicines, nutraceuticals, homeopathy and other natural therapies.
    In this phase the goals include strengthening the immune system, decreasing toxicity, normalizing inflammatory functions, optimizing metabolic functions, balancing regulatory systems, enhancing regeneration, harmonizing the life force, etc.
  4. Correct Structural Integrity / Address Physical Alignment using naturopathic manipulation, postural correction, exercise therapy, and other hands-on therapies.
  5. Natural Symptom Control using natural substances to restore and regenerate as needed.
  6. Synthetic Symptom Relief using pharmacological substances to halt the progressing pathology, if needed
  7. High Force Interventions to suppress pathology using invasive modalities, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, etc, if needed. Use supportive therapies concurrently to decrease side effects and support recovery.


  1. World Naturopathic Federation. (2017). WNF White Paper: Naturopathic Philosophies, Principles and Theories. Retrieved from

Posts in this series:

  1. Naturopathic Theories overview
  2. Naturopathic Cures
  3. “Value of a Fever”

7 thoughts on “Naturopathic Theory: The Therapeutic Order

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s