Naturopathy is also known as natural medicine. On occasion, it may even be called nature’s cure. Although forms of natural medicine have always been practised, it is generally thought that the basis for modern naturopathy was laid down in the 19th century.
How does naturopathy differ from other disciplines? It sees the body as a natural system. Practitioners believe that the body is always trying to achieve what is known as equilibrium. This can be disturbed by outside influencing factors such as pollution, what we do and the food we eat. The emphasis is on stimulating the body’s natural healing process.
Today, many forms of conventional medicine have adopted the principles of naturopathy.
History of Naturopathy
Modern-day naturopathy is a broad field. Looking closer at the practice, you can see that it consists of different practices. For instance, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) falls within its perimeters. Other disciplines including homeopathy and Ayurveda are worth mentioning.
Most of the principles in naturopathy were established by Hippocrates. In turn, he probably learned much of what he knew from doctors in Ancient Egypt. Hippocrates followed the ancient belief that good health and equilibrium could only be achieved when the balance of rest, good food and exercise was right. This is the motto that modern medicine still follows today. Perhaps we still have something to learn from ancient healers and doctors.
The term naturopathy was probably first introduced in 1895 by an American called Dr. John Scheel. The term homeostasis is often mentioned by practitioners. This means all systems and functions in the body are balanced i.e. at an equilibrium.
Naturopathy is practised all around the world, but in many countries such as Australia, it is at the forefront of medicine.
Key Principles of Naturopathy
Naturopaths believe that the body always strives for the best health it can achieve. We know that many factors including a lack of sleep, exercise and fresh air can have a negative impact on our general health. According to the founding principles of naturopathy, pollutants and even negative attitudes can have a less than positive impact on our health.
This can lead to toxins building up in our bodies and weaken the body’s system of regulating good health. When the immune system becomes overloaded, it weakens the body and its vital force. This leaves it vulnerable to disease, bacteria and allergens.
In naturopathy, the treatment principle is different. It is important that treatments are as non-invasive as possible. Treatments and remedies may involve a range of practices including herbal, homeopathy, manipulation, yoga and food therapy. The common purpose of all these treatments and remedies is to restore homeostasis.
Evidence and Research
Conventional medicine endorses many of the practices you find in naturopathy. That includes exercise, diet and relaxation. The theory of just popping a pill or 24-hour medicine is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
We are all familiar with the idea of balance and how important it is to eat, sleep well and exercise. We can achieve many of the ideas supported by naturopathy by looking after ourselves and caring for our bodies better.
The Theory of Naturopathy
It is important to appreciate that naturopathy is a multi-function or multi-task discipline. Yes, your doctor or practitioner may treat you with herbs or homeopathy, but he may also ask you to do things for yourself. That can involve everything from dietary changes to taking more exercise.
In order for the body to heal itself, you need to practise what is called the triad of health. This includes emotional well-being, biochemistry and musculo-skeletal structure.
What Are The Main Uses of Naturopathy?
The ways in which naturopathy can be used are wide and varied. It is more or less impossible to create an all-inclusive list. However, many of our modern health conditions can be managed with naturopathy.
Main uses of naturopathy include:
● Degenerative conditions
● Chronic ailments
● High blood pressure
● Gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS
● Skin conditions
As naturopathy has been practised for such a long time, the list of conditions and ailments it can remedy is almost endless.
Final Thoughts and Medical Opinion
Letting your body heal naturally is more important than ever before. Doing so improves our defense mechanism against environmental pollutants, bacteria and viruses, diseases and health conditions.
Today, we are only beginning to scratch the surface of what antioxidants can do for us. Immune medicine is the latest war cry. Many of the principles on which immune therapy is founded come from naturopathy.
Conventional medicine owes a lot to natural medicine. Many of our most command drugs are based on compounds found in the natural world or derived from them. The Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists is responsible for licensing and registering naturopaths.