A careful physician . . . before he attempts to administer a remedy to his patient, must investigate not only the malady of the man he wishes to cure, but also his habits when in health, and his physical constitution. Cicero (106-43 B.C.)
Treat the Whole Person is one of the six principles of naturopathic medicine.
Disease affects the entire person, not just a specific organ or system. Health and disease are a result of a complex interaction of all aspects of a person, their life and environment. The mental and emotional, functional, structural and spiritual aspects of an individual are an inseparable whole that is interconnected and interdependent with family, community and environment. Any pattern of disharmony in any aspect of a person resonates throughout all levels of a being.
Treat the whole person is a holistic concept that recognizes that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Each individual is unique with their own specific susceptibilities and way of manifesting disharmony and disease. It is the harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual, within themself and with their environment, that is essential to health.
When treating the whole person an assessment includes:
- addressing nutritional status
- lifestyle factors
- family history and genetic factors
- physical symptoms and conditions
- mental and emotional status
- spiritual beliefs
- environmental influences
- past injuries, accidents, medical treatments, etc.
- social, community and school or work factors