The authors, along with the Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine Institute (FNMI) and the Institute for Natural Medicine (INM)  welcome naturopathic physicians and other health professionals to undertake further scholarship, research, and adaptations of the (copyrighted and trademarked) Therapeutic Order in the spirit of  respectful and creative collaboration, and in the transformation of health care to a system which cares for health.

Permission to use, reference and adapt the Naturopathic Medicine Therapeutic Order for non-commercial or non-profit (not for sale) purposes had the following user requirements:

  1. Include the statement provided below either 1) in the body of the text or 2) included within a footnote linked to the use of Therapeutic Order in the text.
  2. Include the citations provided below referenced to the Therapeutic Order in the text.
  3. Include “© Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine Institute. Used with Permission” with figures or diagrams of Therapeutic Order.
  4. Titles of works should initially refer to use of the Therapeutic Order by indicating its origins in Naturopathic medicine in the title. For example – ‘A Functional Medicine (or Integrative Medicine) Pain Management Model using the Naturopathic Medicine Therapeutic Order’; or similar.


The ideas embodied in the Therapeutic Order are central to Naturopathic medicine’s clinical theory and philosophy of practice. The Therapeutic Order is used throughout the world by Naturopathic physicians in teaching, practice, research and public policy (World Naturopathic FederationAANMCINM). Naturopathic physicians use the Therapeutic Order to identify, prioritize, individualize and guide treatment for their patients to create resilience and vitaluty, treat disease by restoring health, and to work cooperatively with nature’s healing processes and forces. Its earliest conceptual expression was through Henry Lindlahr, ND, in his classic text: “Nature Cure: Philosophy and Practice Based on the Unity of Disease and Cure” described in his theory of the primary and secondary causes of disease, and five step “Return to Nature.”1

The contemporary Naturopathic medicine Therapeutic Order was developed by naturopathic physicians, Jared Zeff, ND, LAc and Pamela Snider, ND.2 Dr. Zeff proposed the four-part Hierarchy of Healing in his landmark 1997 article “The Process of Healing – A Unifying Theory of Naturopathic Medicine.”3 Drs. Snider and Zeff collaborated in developing it further in 1998, when Dr. Snider proposed expanding the four-part model to seven levels and renaming it the Therapeutic Order.2,6 It has evolved through their publications,4,5 faculty review, and adapted by others with varying interpretations.6



  1. Lindlahr, H. 1913. Nature Cure: The Philosophy of the Unity of Disease and Cure.
  3. Zeff, J.L.  (1997). The process of healing: A unifying theory of naturopathic medicine. Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, 7(1). 122-5.
  4. Zeff, J.L., Snider, P., & Myers, S., DeGrandpre, Z., (2013 4th ed.; & 2006 3rd ed. Zeff, Snider, Myers). A Hierarchy of Healing: The Therapeutic Order. A Unifying Theory of Naturopathic Medicine. In J.E. Pizzorno & M. Murray. Textbook of Natural Medicine. Churchill Livingston St. Louis, Missouri. 
  5. Finnell, J. Snider, P., Myers, S., Zeff, J.
  6. A Hierarchy of Healing: Origins of the Therapeutic Order and Implications for Research. Integrative Medicine • Vol. 18, No. 3 • June 2019.