Six Principles of Healing

Naturopathic medicine is derived from six principles of healing. These principles are based on an objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are examined continually in light of scientific analysis.

The following six principles define the profession:

The healing power of nature — vis medicatrix naturae

The human body has an intrinsic ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The body's healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician's role is to facilitate and augment this process, to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.

Identify and treat the cause — tolle causam

Illness occurs with cause. Underlying causes of disease must be discovered and treated before a person can fully recover from illness. Symptoms are expressions of the body's attempts to heal itself, but are not the root cause of disease. Because of this, naturopathic medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, rather than the symptoms. Causes may occur on physical, mental-emotional, and spiritual levels. The naturopathic physician evaluates the underlying causes of illness on all levels, and directs treatment to the root causes while simultaneously seeking to relieve the symptoms.

First do no harm — primum no nocere

The healing process includes the generation of symptoms, expressions of the life force attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complementary to, and synergistic with, this healing process. A physician's actions can support or antagonize the actions of vis medicatrix naturae; methods designed to suppress symptoms without removing underlying causes are considered harmful and are avoided or minimized.

Treat the whole person — in perturbato animo sicut in corpore sanitas esse non potest

Health and disease are conditions of the whole organism, involving a complex interaction of physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social factors. A naturopathic physician takes all of these factors into account, and treats the whole person. The harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual is essential to recovery and prevention of disease, and requires a personalized and comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.

The physician as teacher — docere

Beyond accurate diagnosis and appropriate prescription, the physician works to create a healthy, sensitive interpersonal relationship with the patient. A cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value. The physician's role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for his or her own health. The physician is a catalyst for healthful change, empowering and motivating the patient to assume responsibility for personal health. It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately creates or accomplishes healing. The physician strives to inspire hope as well as understanding. The physician must also make a commitment to his or her personal and spiritual development.

Prevention — principiis obsta: sero medicina curatur

Prevention is the ultimate goal of naturopathic medicine, and is accomplished through education and promotion of lifestyle habits that foster good health. The physician assesses risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and makes appropriate interventions to avoid further harm and risk to the patient. The emphasis is on building health rather than on fighting disease. Because it is difficult to be healthy in an unhealthy world, it is the responsibility of both physician and patient to create a healthier environment in which to live.

Dr.Pratt is a great team player and her work complements the other therapies and approaches we follow in conjunction.

- Parent of Autism Spectral Disorder Patient

Apart from BIT, Dr.Pratt's vast knowledge of the biomedical basis of ASD helps support parents as they try to heal the child's body in helping the brain develop.

- Parent of Autism Spectral Disorder Patient

There were such significant changes in my child's behavior after Dr. Pratt’s treatment, that it absolutely changed his life and the whole family.

- Behavioral Issues and Family Naturopathic Care

I have to say, I have never seen anything have such a positive impact on someone's life.

- ADD / Memory Recall Patient

Dr. Pratt's approach was friendly, relaxing, reassuring and non-invasive, and the progress that we saw in our son's writing was immediate and remarkable.

- Specific Learning Disability Patient

I would highly recommend Dr. Pratt’s nurturing, life changing treatments to anyone who desires a better, easier way of living in this world.

- Anxiety / Learning Disability Patient

Dr. Pratt’s treatment made it possible for my daughter to go to school full-time for the first time in two years, and as a matter of fact, she’s now talking about going to college instead of worrying that she’d never graduate high school.


- Patient of Head Injury Patient

Since my first appointment with Dr. Pratt, I have come back to her for every ailment. She has quickly and effectively cured every sickness I have experienced.

- Naturopathic Medicine Patient

I am working 4 days a week and I accomplish more in a day now than I did in a whole week before. I feel productive and useful after BIT.

- Head Injury Patient

It has not all been easy, changing your lifestyle and diet is a challenge but we feel very supported by Dr. Pratt. It's a long road to recovery but the rewards are great along the way. My son has almost recovered from his symptoms and we owe all of this to Dr. Pratt. We are very thankful to have crossed her path at the right time in our journey.

- EI, Rye, NY

Dr. Pratt is compassionate and well-informed about the various challenges and available options for children with special needs. She is always willing to brainstorm options with parents and has a way of getting through to the children.

- Best, Pooja

It is almost impossible to explain the dramatic and positive effect Dr Shelese Pratt has had on my health. It is without exaggeration that I say Dr Pratt has saved my life on numerous occasions. To say her work has dramatically increased the quality of my life is gross understatement. There is not an aspect of my physical, mental, or emotional health that Dr Pratt has not addressed at some point during my years as her patient. I first saw Dr Pratt in 2005, after suffering one infection after another over the course of three months and had exhausted my known medial avenues. She was the only doctor to see the connection to between all of my symptoms and to care long enough and deep enough to get to the bottom of them. I have sent countless loved ones and colleagues to her over the years and know that the level of her care has changed their lives for better without exception. I have had the privilege of seeing Dr Pratt for Brain Integration, naturopathic, and homeopathic treatments and I can say without any reservation that I credit my health and well being to her and her practice.

- Erica A., Naturopathic Medicine Patient