Naturopathic medicine blends centuries old natural, non-toxic therapies
with current advances in the study of health care. It is a distinctively
natural approach to health and healing that recognises the integrity
of the whole person. Naturopathic Medicine emphasises the treatment
of disease through the stimulation, enhancement, and support of
the inherent healing capacity of the person.
In naturopathy, methods of treatments are chosen to work with the
patient's vital force, respecting the intelligence of the natural
healing process. As well as nutrition, naturopaths may use herbal
medicines, homeopathy and massage.
Some naturopaths are trained in counseling skills. Bach flower remedies
and iridology. Homeopathy is a form of treatment that falls under
the umbrella of Naturopathy, however it is a unique system of medicine
in its own right, and utilises principles and medicines that may
not be found in other forms of naturopathy.
Although naturopathy is often described as an alternative medicine,
it is not really an alternative to modern medicine, but is an complementary
therapy. Naturopathic physicians cooperate with all other branches
of medical science referring patients to other practitioners for
diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.
The History of Naturopathy
Naturopathy as we know it today was pioneered in the early 19th
Century by practitioners such as the Austrian Vincent Priessnitz
who founded the principles of hydrotherapy.
Towards the end of the century German priest, Father Sebastian
Kneipp, treated and cured an American named Benedict Lust for a
severe case of tuberculosis with a combination of his herbal treatments
and water cures.
Lust returned to the United States and founded the American School
of Naturopathy which became the basis for all naturopathic training
and practice, as we know it today.
Wellbeing with Naturopathy
Good health and wellness is what naturopathic treatment is all
about. The main emphasis of naturopathic practice is the belief
that the body has an inbuilt ability to strive for health. The role
of a naturopath is to work with a person to promote the natural
healing of the body. Naturopathy is rooted in the belief that health
is more than just the absence of disease and works on strengthening
the body’s natural defences.
Naturopaths see the symptoms of a disease as the body’s
defence mechanism attempting to move the person back to a state
of health. A naturopath will work with this process rather than
suppress the symptoms, such as fever, diarrhoea, or loss of appetite.
A naturopath will design a treatment path that meets your body’s
needs. They may at first advise you on how to remove the underlying
causes of the stress that is causing problems in the body. This
could involve recommending dietary changes, and encouraging ways
of achieving a deeper level of relaxation.
The naturopath may then suggest ways to nourish and cleanse the
body, by suggesting dietary changes that might involve avoiding
certain foods, eating certain foods, taking various vitamin, mineral
or food supplements, or drinking fruit and vegetable juices. Often,
the naturopath will recommend a diet high in fresh, raw fruits,
vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts.
The naturopath will also be concerned with ridding the body of
accumulated toxins. The naturopath may suggest that the person eliminates
tea, coffee, tobacco and alcohol. The naturopath may also suggest
that the person undertakes a cleansing fast or diet. Make sure you
do not stop taking any medications without consulting your doctor
What can Naturopathy Treat?
Common ailments that naturopaths seek to treat or relieve the
underlying causes of include:
- allergies, including food allergies
- arthritic conditions
- back pain and problems
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- digestive complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- menstrual and menopausal problems
- skin conditions, such as eczema
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