Naturopathy, or Naturopathic Medicine, is a distinct, integrated system of primary health care offered by licensed physicians. It consists of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disorders by the therapeutic use of natural methods and materials. These might include Clinical Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Hygiene, Homeopathy, Naturopathic Manipulation, or ancient medical systems like those of China or India.
Naturopathic Medicine in practice considers the fundamental components of health - biochemistry, biomechanics, and the emotional predisposition - in order to help a person restore the balance that we describe as good health. This philosophy empowers the individual as being responsible for the level of health they experience. Naturopathic Medicine offers safe, cost-effective solutions for many healthcare problems. Competence and respect for tradition, the scientific method, and innovation are hallmarks of a naturopathic medical practice.
Naturopathic treatments originated as the use of herbs and foods for medicine, exposure to fresh air and sunlight, and hydrotherapy (the use of hot and cold water application) as steam or sauna. These techniques and methods have long been respected throughout the world. While modern allopathic medicine is
a youngster of less than 200 years old, Natural Medicine has been the primary medicine used by most of the human community even into the 21st Century. Herbal and traditional medical arts remain the primary medical choice of over 65% of humanity.
Naturopathic Medicine was first established as a distinct profession in North America at the turn of the 20th century by Benedict Lust, a German immigrant. Lust had been a student of Father Sebastian Kneipp, famous in Europe for being involved with a movement known as "Nature Cure." That was the system of employing clean food, water, air, sun, and exercise with hydrotherapy as healing agents to restore health.
Lust and his wife founded the Yungborn Nature Cure Health Resort in New York state. There they incorporated other disciplines and therapies compatible with the basic principles of "Nature Cure." In 1902, Lust began using the term Naturopathy to describe the mixture of disciplines and therapies he used to treat illness. Three years later he founded the first school of Naturopathic Medicine under the laws of the State of New York.
Throughout North America in the early 1900s, this movement blossomed with the opening of more than 20 schools offering programs in Naturopathic Medicine. In 1925, Ontario formally recognized Naturopathic Medicine under the Drugless Practitioners Act. Arizona followed with their act in 1935. British Columbia enacted the Naturopathic Physician's Act in 1936, followed by Alberta and Manitoba in the 1940s. After World War II, antibiotics and advanced surgical techniques created a growing belief that medical science and technology would soon cure most if not all known sickness and disease. Naturopathic profession, with its emphasis on self-healing and independence from profitable drugs and heroic procedures, declined rapidly in post WWII America.
A renaissance in Naturopathy began in North America and Europe in the late 1970s and early 1980s. People and governments became aware of the limitations of science and medical technology. A growing public interest in alternative or complementary medicine to maintain and restore health has led to a resurgence of belief in the importance of diet, lifestyle, personal choice to ideal health. This validated the original principles and teachings of the Naturopathic profession.
Living things have an innate ability to heal themselves. Our vital force promotes self-cleansing, self-repair, and
therefore self-healing. This process can be achieved by focusing on the immune, hormonal, nervous, and detoxification/elimination systems of the body. Once these systems are in balance, restored health is a probability.
Naturopathic doctors treat their patients holistically, taking into consideration the individual's biochemistry, biomechanics, and emotional predispositions. The body's self-healing ability can be better understood if one takes into account the fact that homeostasis, or biological balance, is the main characteristic of any healthy system.
A good example is fever. When the body is invaded by a pathogen (a substance capable of producing illness or disease), the body will usually respond by producing a fever to fight the invader. If the body is properly supported through nutrition and rest, the fever will turn up the immune system and permit the recovery of health.
Other examples are the immune system, hormonal system, nervous system, and detoxification/elimination pathways, which all work as a unit to ensure our survival. If given the proper support, care, and the chance to function freely without suppression, they can bring the system back to a state of balance or "ease" (as opposed to "dis
There are no panaceas or magic bullets. Each individual has his or her own unique set of symptoms and reactions which will, in turn, dictate the approach the Naturopathic doctor takes to treat them. This is why each person seeking help from a Naturopathic doctor will receive an individualized treatment protocol. Naturopathic medicine is practiced either as a primary system of medical care, or as a complementary adjunct to conventional medical treatment.
The goal of Naturopathic Medicine is to develop optimal wellness for each patient, and to teach the principles of ideal health. Although Naturopathic doctors are educated and trained to treat acute and chronic disease, prevention is the ultimate goal. This is based on the Naturopathic philosophy of wellness enhancement -- not disease management.
THANKS TO NUTURO DOC.COM FOR TEXT CONTENT