Naturopathy is an alternative medicine that deals with physical, mental, social, emotional or spiritual adjustments and diet recommendations to heal the human body.
Naturopathic treatments have been in use long ago by the ancient Greeks, with the belief that illnesses can be cured or prevented with therapies such as massage, physical training, and healthy diet.
Later in 1895, John Scheel coined the word Naturopathy, and this medical procedure comprises the use of a couple of therapies like exercises, acupuncture, natural treatment with herbs, massage, nutritional therapy, and others.
“The body has this capacity to heal itself if given the right conditions and naturopathy, along with acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine, and most other holistic modalities subscribes to this basic understanding of the body’s own innate intelligence” – Steven Langley
Naturopathic medicine is a therapeutic system that utilizes natural therapeutic procedures to aid the body in healing itself. It’s a natural treatment remedy that is without any form of ill effects.
As people are going back to traditional medicines where only natural plant ingredients are used, naturopathic doctors will be in demand in the future and Naturopathy will be a better choice of career.
However, global regulations and control of their operations will be a major cause of concern since they are not regarded as real doctors (but not quacks) and their model of treatment is not only science-based, it involves spirituality in terms of prayer, food, and all forms of therapy.
Contrary to the popular belief of a misinformed individual that Naturopathic doctors are dangerous, naturopaths are recognized medical practitioners in the US and in other places.
They are to get an accredited degree from an accredited graduate institution before they can begin operation.
Naturopathy is not a medical fad and naturopaths do work in a wide range of settings which include but not limited to hospitals, healthcare centers, family consultancy, and beauty clinics.
Sometimes, a naturopath can be the last possible option in a patient’s search for a solution towards a health problem.
A naturopathic doctor, or simply put, a naturopathic has been defined as someone who makes use of the principles of naturopathy to prevent or cure various forms of pathological conditions.
As the spectrum of naturopathy continues to expand, modern naturopathic treatments have now gone beyond conventional therapies like massage, exercises to modern procedures like colon hydrotherapy, bio-resonance, and ozone therapy
A naturopath can discover illness in the human body using a number of diagnostic alternatives before the outset of signs and symptoms of such illness. This means that diseases can be corrected before it becomes severe.
The Principles Guiding Naturopathy
The principles of naturopathy in today’s modern naturopathy have not really changed from what was practiced and followed by the ancient Greek who practiced it in the Hippocratic School of Medicine but has advanced since then.
Hippocrates’ belief was on the fact that the body is capable of healing itself and a person should be seen as a holistic being while nature should be the primary cure to all forms of diseases.
Today, the practice of naturopathy is based on the following principles: Nature has a therapeutic power – That is, nature has the capacity to heal the body.
- Identification of the cause of a disease and its treatment should be done naturally without chemicals.
- Every individual is a holistic being: Naturopaths should admit the completeness of an individual.
- When administering therapy, the focus should not be based on the body only but also the mind.: Therefore, all aspects of the individual from physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual should be taken into consideration.
- The patient should be part of the healing process: Since treatment is not drug-based, a naturopath will educate their patients about their illness and things to do to correct them. The treatment process is only facilitated by naturopaths, the healing is achieved by the individual.
- Prevention is always better than cure: A naturopath believes that abnormally in the body should rather be prevented than managing them when it occurs. Hence, a naturopath will advise a patient on good diet habits and lifestyle measures to prevent the outset of diseases.
How Does Naturopathy Work
To get healed with the principles of Naturopathy, you need to consult a qualified Naturopathic doctor who will sit you down to ask a series of questions concerning your overall life. This may take hours in his office.
These questions include but not limited to, your health records, diet habits, the health issue you’re struggling with, medications you might have been taking prior to the consultation, your family history, marital status, and lifestyle.
After this consultation, he can now go further with physical body examination and biochemical tests to ascertain the cause of your illness.
The naturopath may examine some specific parts of the body like your eyes, especially your iris, tongue and saliva, nails, skin and your abdomen.
Biochemical tests that may be done include blood analysis, sputum analysis, and urinalysis. Once he’s been able to gather data, he will then make an accurate diagnosis as well as formulate a treatment plan for your condition.
The treatment plan will, of course, based solely on natural remedies such as nutritional therapy, lifestyle and/or herbal therapy.
Diet therapy: Nutritional or diet therapy is the major part of the naturopath’s remedy. This is because poor dieting results in several illnesses in the body due to deficiencies of essential nutrients the body needs for growth functioning. Poor dieting also reduces the capacity of the immune system to fight against diseases naturally.
Herbal therapy: Naturopaths utilize the innate power of nature to cure diseases through the use of herbs. Many herbs are of medicinal benefits if used appropriately.
Homeopathy: Naturopaths use homeopathic remedies to stimulate the body.
Hydrotherapy: This involves the use of water to treat various ailments.
Physical therapies: These may include but not limited to massage, bio puncture or mechanotherapy.
Counseling: As part of the treatment procedures, a naturopath will also counsel a patient on important areas of health which will help the healing process.
These counsels are usually for stress management and emotional relief.
What are the illnesses that be treated with Naturopathy
Naturopathic doctors can manage a variety of pathological conditions which include the following
- Asthma Excess fatigue
- Endocrine imbalance
- Constipation and other digestive problems
In some states in the US, some licensed naturopathic practitioners can carry out surgical stitches to close up a wound, and even give prescriptions.
As naturopathic medicine deals mainly with natural remedies of disease prevention, one good reason to see a naturopath is to boost your overall health through nutrition and lifestyle changes.
Naturopaths are usually not trained to deal with emergencies. Hence when you are in an emergency that will require immediate attention or you need a major surgery done, a naturopath wouldn’t be your best option
Besides this, then you’re pretty good with a naturopath.
Is Naturopathic treatment scientifically proven and reliable?
Just as evidence-based medicine is considered the mainstay of primary health care, so is it also the methodology for naturopathy.
Though still in its minimal level, there are control trials that suggest that naturopathic remedies such as herbal therapy, homeopathy, and some physiotherapeutic procedures have proven effective in the treatment of several pathological conditions such as allergies, asthma, headaches, and obesity.
However, though, there has been a clarion call for the need for more randomized clinical trials to support the use of naturopathy.
Naturopathic medicine is becoming an integral part of primary health care since it focuses on the prevention of illnesses and the use of natural treatment procedures which have almost zero side effects on the body.
At this time our social life and diets contribute mostly to the health challenges we are facing today, we can’t continue to depend on drugs for treatment, a therapy based treatment like Naturopathy will be cost-effective and safe for healthy living.