Hippocrates’ Seven Levels of Intervention

Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine, admonished his students to do no harm. He established seven distinct levels of intervention, and taught his students to utilize the Least invasive effective approach. Practitioners of complimentary health care still take this admonition seriously. His levels of intervention are listed from the least to the most invasive. The more invasive approaches are potentially more hazardous.

Naturopathic Medicine encompasses levels 1 – 5 and excludes levels 6 and 7.

  1. Prayer and Fasting
    This is the medicine of Jesus. Prayer and fasting enable us to communicate with the Father, and in so doing we are profoundly changed. This is spiritual healing.
  2. Nutrition
    Proper nutrition is more than taking the appropriate micronutrients. It means learning to balance our diets in harmony with our level of activity, season of the year, and physiological needs.
  3. Structural Medicine
    Structural medicine is care of the human frame. Chiropractic and therapeutic massage are two well-known structural modalities.
  4. Bioenergetic Regulation
    Bioenergetic regulation alters the physics of the body in order to bring about changes toward health. Homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine are per-haps the two most well-known bioenergetic approaches.
  5. Herbal Medicine
    Hippocrates himself was an herbalist. Herbs have been in use for healing from the beginning of recorded history. There are numerous references to herbs in the Bible.
  6. Surgery
    Compared to today’s procedures, surgery was relatively minor during Hippocrates’ day. It was not considered the most invasive approach.
  7. Drugs
    During Hippocrates’ day, drugs were only employed as a last resort because it was understood that, with drugs, there is no effectiveness without side effects.


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