So what is naturopathy?
Naturopathy (or naturopathic medicine) is a diverse and broad healthcare system. It employs an array of natural, non-invasive and self-healing practices, and is based on folk medicine and vitalism. Naturopathic practitioners generally use gentle therapeutic techniques and the healing power of nature to diagnose and treat ailments. Modern medical practices including medical testing, surgery, drugs, and vaccinations are not common in this field.
Naturopathy is both a science and an art. It boosts the body’s “natural” healing potential. This restores harmony and prevents disease. The practice is supported by six basic principles: Natural healing. Find and treat the cause. Do no harm. Doctor as an educator. Treat the whole person. And prevention.
Basically, in naturopathic medicine, the body has the power to heal itself. The naturopath, on the other hand, has various responsibilities. These include: Treat the underlying cause, not only symptoms. Use the most natural, least toxic, and least invasive therapies. And teach patients how to achieve and maintain their health. During diagnosis and treatment, naturopaths view the body wholly with all its spiritual and physical dimensions. Besides that, they focus on overall wellness, health, and disease prevention.
Some naturopaths also have training in flower essences and soft tissue manipulation. The former involves enhancing the emotional aspect of healing. The latter involves rebalancing body systems to enable detoxification and to reduce pain.
Besides naturopathic principles, naturopathy encompasses a number of treatment methods: Herbal medicine prevents and treats various illnesses. Dietary and nutritional advice restores balance, detoxifies, and prevents disease. Lifestyle advice promotes well-being and reduces stress. Hydrotherapy stimulates the body’s natural defences and the immune system using the healing power of water. And the use of packs and compresses stimulates organ function and reduces pain.
Naturopathic medicine can alleviate a range of conditions. It is also suitable for all sexes and ages. Fatigue, digestive problems, aches, pains, PMT, and stress-related ailments are some of the most common conditions. However, you don’t need to be sick to benefit from naturopathic treatments.
Naturopathy was established in the late 1800s and advanced in the early 1900s. At that time, it comprised natural healing systems including hydrotherapy (water therapy) and natural cure. These systems were based on the use of light, water, air, herbs, and food to treat illness. In 1902, naturopathy was first introduced in the United States by Benjamin Lust – a German immigrant and founder of the American School of Naturopathy.
The school publicized the use of proper bowel habits, good hygiene, and natural cures as tools for health. Through their efforts, dietary principles, such as minimizing saturated fats and increasing fibre intake, became popular. Naturopathic medicine lost popularity between 1920 and 1940, when pharmaceuticals, medical technologies, and allopathic medical training were the in thing. But the practice soon regained popularity in the 1960s.
Today, naturopaths are registered and licensed prevention medicine specialists in many states. They use both traditional and scientific evidence in practice. Besides, they offer information and advice on complementary and alternative therapies, like relaxation techniques, herbal medicines, mineral and vitamin supplements, homoeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine.