Naturopathy is a system of integrated holistic medicine based on the theory that diseases can be successfully treated or prevented without the use of drugs, by techniques such as control of diet, exercise, and massage. A naturopath will ask questions about the person’s condition, medical history, diet and lifestyle, and any conventional treatments that they may be taking. They may then use Iridology, or tongue and nail diagnosis to get a better picture of the complete health state of the client. If needed, pathology testing such as hair, stool, or blood analysis may be recommended. Once all of the information is gathered, a treatment plan is formulated which may include advice on diet, lifestyle, exercise, herbal medicine, homeopathic treatments or other suitable remedies. A naturopath may also refer the client to other practitioners as part of an integrated health care approach.
The principles of Naturopathy were first used by the Hippocratic School of Medicine in about 400 BC. The Greek philosopher Hippocrates believed in viewing the whole person in regards to finding a cause of disease, and using the laws of nature to induce cure. It was from this original school of thought that Naturopathy takes its principles. Many of the later principles and philosophies of naturopathy originated in Germany and Europe in the 16th and 17th century but North America is considered the home of modern naturopathy. The American John Scheel coined the term ‘naturopathy’ and Benedict Lust, who had trained in hydrotherapy and other natural therapies in Germany, established it in the US and became the nominated Father of Naturopathy. He described it as a broad discipline incorporating hydrotherapy, herbal medicine and homeopathy, as well as dietary regulations. The Flexner Report of 1910 in the US forced many of the holistic therapies to be abandoned and naturopathy was among those that were suppressed until the 1970s. Dr Hermann Keppler (a German homeopath) established the first College of Natural Medicine in London in 1998. With his additional specialist skills in nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture as well as iridology, Chinese diagnosis, tissue salts, flower remedies he was able to offer a truly naturopathic treatment for clients.
The naturopathic principles taught in most countries include:
1. Do no harm (primum non nocere)
2. Healing power of nature (vis medicatrixnaturae)
3. Treat the cause (tollecausam)
4. Treat The whole person (tolletotum)
5. Doctor as teacher (docere)
6. Disease prevention and health promotion
With so many skills and treatment modalities available, naturopathy can treat all ailments which don’t require surgery.
The General Council and Register of Naturopaths