A traditional naturopath specializes in wellness. That is to say teaching clients how applying natural lifestyle approaches can act to facilitate the body's healing and health building potential. The traditional naturopath does not undertake to diagnose or treat disease but recognizes that the majority of subhealth conditions are cumulative effects. Also the underlying cause of disease is improper diet, unhealthy habits and environmental factors that cause biological imbalances leading to a weakening of the body's defenses and subsequent breakdown in health.
Robert J. Thiel, Ph.D. defined naturopaths as "facilitators" in his book, "Combining Old and New: Naturopathy for the 21st Century." He stated that, "We try to identify the cause of problems, eliminate toxins, recommend substances to deal with deficiencies, and stimulate the body's own natural healing abilities."