Naturopathy seeks to improve health and treat disease chiefly by assisting the body's innate capacity to recover from illness and injury.
What is naturopathy?
Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a school of medical philosophy and practice. Naturopathy is practised throughout different modalities, including manual therapy, hydrotherapy, herbalism, acupuncture, counseling, environmental medicine, aromatherapy, whole foods, cell salts, and so on. Naturopathic practitioners on holistic approach to patient care, which includes they do not use invasive surgery or most synthetic drugs. They prefer 'natural' remedies, such as herbs and foods, but they do also employ the use of prescription medications and surgery when necessary and refer out to other medical practitioners.
History of naturopathyNaturopathy has actually its origins in the Europe and United States, but is today practiced in many countries around the world and is there subject to different standards of regulation and levels of acceptance. The term was coined at the end of 19. century by John Scheel and then by Benedict Lust, who has been schooled in hydrotherapy and other natural health practices After he was sent by Father Sebastian Kneipp to United States to bring there Kneipp's methods, in 1905 Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York, which was the first naturopathic college in the United States. After the 30s with the discovery of penicillin, antibiotics and corticosteroids, naturopathic medicine went into decline along with most other natural professions.
But at the same time in India naturopathy was developing another stream differs from the Western stream in many ways, particularly in their emphasis of strict vegetarianism and yoga. Naturopathy has been popularized in India by Mahatma Gandhi because it was cheap and adaptable to the Indian circumstance. The system grew in popularity towards the close of 1900s and is still very popular due to numerous naturopathy hospitals in the country. In India there are also many doctors trained in the Western system of medicine who have acquired naturopathy degrees so as to integrate the insights gained into their system of practice. There are two streams of naturopaths in India: first are graduates of All India Naturopathy Council which are awarded DNYS (Diploma in Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences) after 3 years of guided study and internship. The other are university graduates who are awarded BNYS (Bachelor of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences). BNYS is a four and half year course with one year internship.
The Principles of Naturopathy1. The healing power of nature. Vis medicatrix naturae.
This principle has two aspect. One is that the body has the ability to heal itself and it is the naturopathic doctor's role to facilitate this natural process, and second that nature heals. Of course it is essential to include enough sleep, exercise and proper diet into both aspects.
2. Identify and treat the cause. Tolle causam.
To complete achieve complete healing first the underlying causes of the disease must be removed. Cause can exist on several levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
3. First do no harm. Primum non nocere.
Any therapy that interferes with natural healing process must be avoided and the natural life force of the individual should be supported to facilitate healing.
4. Treat the whole person. The multifactorial nature of health and disease
One of very important aspects in naturopathy is holistic approach: a belief that immediate treatment must go beyond symptoms and istead the entire person's well being, including body, spirit and soul must be treated.
5. The physician as teacher. Docere
Naturopath has among others a role to educate and encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own health and of course to educate their practices.
The emphasis in naturopathy is not on fighting the illness- it is about building health and prevent illness. This is done simply only through living healthy lifestyles, beliefs and relationships.
Naturopathy and practiceNaturopathic principles and philosophy serve as the basis for naturopathic practice.
The current scope of naturopathic practice includes, but is not limited to:
According to clinical nutrition food is the best medicine and is a cornerstone of naturopathic practice. Many medical conditions can be treated more effectively with foods, dietetics, natural hygiene, fasting, and nutritional supplements etc. than they can by other means, with fewer complications and side effects.
Botanical Medicine. Many plant substances are powerful medicines and they are able to address a variety of problems simultaneously, while single chemically-derived drugs may only address a single problem. Organic nature of botanical medicine is compatible with the body's own chemistry. For that reason they can be gently effective with few toxic side effects.
Homeopathic Medicine works on a subtle yet powerful electromagnetic level, gently acting to strengthen the body's healing and immune response.
In physical medicine naturopathy has its own methods of therapeutic manipulation of muscles, bones, and spine through the use of ultrasound, diathermy, exercise, massage, water, heat and cold, air, and gentle electrical pulses.
Oriental medicine is a complimentary healing philosophy to naturopathic medicine.
In naturopathic Obstetrics naturopathic physicians provide natural childbirth care in an out-of-hospital setting.
In the field of psychological medicine naturopathy explains that mental attitudes and emotional states may often influence, or even cause, physical illness. For that reason, counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, and other therapies are used to help patients heal on the psychological level.
In naturopathy practitioners do perform in office-minor surgery. This includes the repair of superficial wounds, removal of foreign bodies, cysts, and other superficial masses.