What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy is a holistic approach to wellness based on the principle that the body has the inherent ability to heal itself. Using the healing power of nature and gentle therapeutic techniques, the body, mind and emotions are supported during the healing process.
Naturopathic principles are based on treating each person as an individual and treating the whole person, not just the affected area.
Naturopathy encompasses a variety of treatment methods including:
Herbal Medicine to help prevent and treat various illnesses
Dietary and Nutritional advice for restoration of balance, detoxification and prevention of disease
Lifestyle advice to promote well-being and to reduce stress
Hydrotherapy using the healing power of water to stimulate the immune system and the body's natural defenses
Flower essences to enhance the emotional aspect of healing
The use of compresses and packs to stimulate organ function and to reduce pain
Soft tissue manipulation to rebalance the body's systems, to reduce pain and to enable detoxification
Naturopathy can alleviate a wide range of conditions and is suitable for all ages. Some of the more common conditions treated include fatigue, stress related ailments, digestive problems, PMT and general aches and pains. However, you do not need to be unwell to benefit from naturopathy.
Naturopathic treatments boost the body's natural healing potential, restoring harmony and preventing disease.
What is the history of naturopathy?
The modern form of naturopathy can be traced to 18th- and 19th-century natural healing systems. Such systems include hydrotherapy (water therapy), which was popular in Germany and nature cure, developed in Austria, and based on the use of food, air, light, water, and herbs to treat illness.
Benjamin Lust, a German immigrant, first introduced naturopathy to the United States in 1902 when he founded the American School of Naturopathy. The school emphasised the use of natural cures, proper bowel habits, and good hygiene as the essential tools for health. This was the first time that dietary principles, like increasing fiber intake and minimizing saturated fats, became popular.
In the mid-1920s to 1940, while allopathic medical training and pharmaceuticals and medical technologies gained notoriety, the use of naturopathic medicine declined. It was not until the 1960s that naturopathic-style holistic medicine regained popularity. Today, naturopaths are licensed primary care providers in many states offering information and advice on a variety of alternative and complementary therapies, including homeopathy, vitamin and mineral supplements, Traditional Chinese Medicine, relaxation techniques, and herbal remedies.