First do no harm, or ‘PRIMUM NON NOCERE’ is the principle which becomes before all others in Naturopathic consultation. While this covers the obvious cause of harm such as negligence, misleading and deceptive misconduct, it also encompasses a number of other causes including:
- Ensuring any prescribed treatment will not interact with any medication that the patient is already taking. Even though they will never prescribe them, naturopaths learn comprehensively about mainstream medication, pharmacology and how they can interact with each other and natural medicine.
- Ensuring prescribed treatment is not going to exacerbate or cause complications for any existing health condition.
- Ensuring that any prescribed treatment is not going to cause any undesirable side effects to any other system of the body.
This principle further highlights the importance of treating the cause and not suppressing symptoms. The human body has an incredible innate ability to heal itself if given the right opportunities and many symptoms are also built in healing mechanisms. It is important that these symptoms are cautiously managed in some cases. But it is equally important to give the body the time and energy to go through the process in order to fully recover. Suppressing these mechanisms can be harmful.
In regards to education, the minimum level of study for all practicing Naturopaths is an Advanced Diploma, which must include a minimum of 450 hours of supervised clinical training.
Upon completion of training, graduates are eligible to apply for membership with an association. Each association requires its members to be fully insured and abide by the highest standards of naturopathic practice. This standard is set and governed by the associations in an effort to maintain a high level of professionalism and accountability within the industry. The requirements of practicing naturopaths are thorough to ensure each one is providing the highest level of care to their patients.
Each registered Naturopath must demonstrate to their association and health funds who cover their services, their continued learning through professional education relevant to the industry. These associations are continuously working to influence government policy to improve regulations within the industry.
To ensure you are seeing a fully registered Naturopath you can ask to see their association certificate.