Naturopathy Basics


Naturopathy
 
Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a holistic form of alternative medicine which is based on a belief in the vital force. It relies on the body's own ability to heal.
 
There are two types of naturopaths: Traditional naturopaths and naturopathic physicians. 
 
Traditional naturopathy does not make use of allopathic drugs and eschews the slash and burn methods of modern western medicine in favor of natural forces such as massage and herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, nutrition and therapies involving exposure to fresh, clean air and water.
 
Naturopathic physicians combine these practices with their conventional medical practices sometimes referred to as complementary medicine.
 
It is practiced in many countries, but especially in the U.S and Canada where it is subject to various levels of official recognition by the mainstream medical community and government regulation.
 
Naturopaths are frequently in opposition to religiously held allopathic view about the efficacy and safety of vaccines.
 
Some naturopathic treatments can interfere with allopathic treatments, therefore, if you decide to use naturopathy, your doctor should be advised. Or, you should consult a naturopathic doctor.
 
History of Naturopathy
 
Hippocrates is regarded as the first advocate of naturopathic medicine. But, John Scheel coined the term "naturopathy" in 1895. Modern naturopathy has its foundation in the "cure parks" and baths of Germany in the 18th and 19th century. It was further developed in Austria to include the use of nutrition light, and herbs to treat a variety of illnesses.
 
It was first introduced to the U.S. in 1902 by Benjamin Lust, the German-bound founder of the American School of Naturopathy. Then, it emphasized the need for proper bowel activity through increased fiber in the diet, reduced unhealthy fats, hygiene, herbal medicine, homeopathy, weight control and the elimination of coffee, tea and alcohol.
 
Interest waned during the 1940s, however, the 1960s brought a resurgence of interest in holistic medicine in the U.S. and naturopathy enjoyed renewed popularity and increased acceptability.   More therapies were added to the practice including Chinese medicine, acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology and relaxation techniques. Chiropractors, also, adopted the practice of naturopathy.
 
Several colleges and universities began offering Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) degrees. Currently, several states recognize and license naturopathic doctors.
 
What are the Benefits of Naturopathy?
 
Naturopathy is a broad spectrum discipline which combines a wide variety of natural therapies. Therefore, its applications to overall health and treatment of a variety of disorders are virtually unlimited.
 
Naturopathy provides excellent treatments for both chronic and acute conditions and disease prevention. 
 
Many conditions which are difficult to successfully treat by allopathic means may be effectively treated by naturopathic methods. Such conditions include, skin conditions, asthma, cardiac disease, hepatitis, HIV,
 
Naturopathy benefits the entire body, mind, emotional state and spirit. It is a preventative for many conditions, including those caused by nutritional imbalances and stress.
 
Furthermore, some naturopathic treatments are very simple, inexpensive and safe to apply.
 
How is Naturopathic Medicine Performed?
 
Your naturopathic experience will vary greatly depending on whether you visit a traditional naturopath or a naturopathic doctor.
 
A traditional naturopath does not diagnose nor treat disease, but looks for ways to improve the overall balance and condition of the body, attributing disease to the diet, habits and environmental factors. Naturopaths do not prescribe drugs or perform invasive tests, surgeries or other conventional medical procedures. 
 
On the other hand, if you choose a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), your experience will be similar to a visit to a conventional allopathic medical doctor. Naturopathic doctors see naturopathy as a complement to allopathic methods of medicine. He or she will probably spend an hour or so making a diagnosis by asking medical questions, establishing your medical history and conducting a physical examination including conventional laboratory tests as well as some tests unique to the practice of an ND.
 
Like traditional naturopaths, NDs treat the whole person rather than seeing the body as just a collection of parts. 
 
Traditional naturopaths and NDs may recommend nutritional counseling, herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, Rolfing, hydrotherapy, sound wave treatment, electrotherapy and different methods of detoxification or chelation.
 
Why Should You Use Naturopathy?
 
If you are concerned with your overall health and well-being and understand the importance of taking the whole body into consideration, the naturopathy is a good choice. It is suitable for treating a broad array of both acute and chronic conditions and can be used to treat conditions which may not respond as well to allopathic methods.
 
Naturopathic medicine is, also, a good choice for people who are undecided about relying entirely on alternative medicine because it can be combined with allopathy under the supervision of a Naturopathic Doctor.
 
Naturopathy is good for people who are willing to take some responsibility for their own health. And, for those who are concerned about the rising cost of allopathic health care.


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