Let’s continue our discussion of the Principles of Naturopathic Medicine by addressing the fifth principle, Tolle Totum, in which we treat the whole person.
Naturopathic Doctors’ Principles of Practice
Vis Medicatrix Naturae: The Healing Power of Nature
Tolle Causum: Identify and Treat the Causes
Nocere: First Do No Harm
Docere: Doctor as Teacher
Tolle Totum: Treat the Whole Person
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the inalienable rights guaranteed to all Americans as their birthright. Ayurvedic medicine follows the definition of health to help its patrons achieve these pursuits by doctoring the most important instruments humans have: body, mind, and soul.
As a Naturopathic doctor, I have the honor and privilege of really getting to know my clients. And I don’t mean just their aches and pains, nor just their traumas and anxieties, but also their gifts, talents, and heartfelt aspirations. It is from this perspective that I can to begin my work of highlighting what is not working and how we can cultivate our advantages as well as grow wellness through what is working for them.
What used to be the strength of modern medicine, “Specialties” have become the Achilles heel of the healthcare industry. Drugs are designed and doctors are trained to treat the body as compartmentalized sections. But anyone who has lived with illness can recognize that physical suffering affects mental health, and mental/emotional suffering adversely affects physical well-being.
Approaching the treatment of the whole person always begins with the body. When the body is feeling well and on the path of improvement, it naturally uplifts the mood of the clients. A hopeful client is a motivated client, capable of taking on the challenges that they would otherwise lament. So, understanding physiology—the whole system and relationships between organs and functions of the body—is the key to healing the body.
Often, physical suffering could be fully or partially dependent on mental/emotional distress. In these cases, addressing the traumas, anxieties, and distresses of the person can help to open the doors to wellness, previously thought to be unreachable. So, a basic understanding of psyche and psychology are essential to aid clients in establishing the mental/emotional conditions of wellness.
When the body and mind begin to sense wellness within their grasp, the resilience of human spirit rises like the Phoenix from ashes. With diligent work from the doctor and the client, the individual no longer “just survives.” Rather, they can strive for their greatest aspirations and thrive in the resources they have been given.
With this in my heart, I aspire to treat the whole person.