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What is Naturopathy?

Rita Putatunda
Naturopathy is a method of treatment using the natural physical forces like heat, water, light, and massage. Some naturopaths do not even use any herbal remedies, but some may prescribe herbal remedies. This story provides information about the same.
Naturopathy is a method of healing wherein diseases are treated by using natural remedies like diet, exercise, heat, air, water, light, and other physiological means. This method of healing can be traced back to the time of Hippocrates, who is regarded as the father of medicine. According to him: "Nature cures; not the physicians". Hippocrates and his fellow physicians were of the opinion that diseases were caused by an imbalance in various natural factors like water, air, and food.
Some of the treatment methods are: relieving the symptoms of an upset stomach by fasting, consuming a balanced diet to maintain good health, and the utilization of water as a method of healing. Dr. John Scheel, MD, of the New York City was the one who coined the term 'naturopathy'.
As a matter of fact, naturopathy has its roots in various traditional medicinal practices in the world, including the Nature Cure of Europe and Ayurveda of India. These days it is practiced in a number of countries all over the world, in one form or another.
The modern form of naturopathy dates back to the early years of the 20th century, and is a way of providing a whole-body health care. This natural therapy is formulated around three basic principles as follows.
  • The physician strives to aid the natural healing capabilities of the body.
  • Instead of addressing merely the symptoms, the root cause of the ailment should be dealt with.
  • And most of all, using only those therapies that do not cause any harm. Toxic drugs and invasive methods are to be avoided as far as possible.
Since the theory propounds that psychological, physical, and even spiritual factors can be contributory elements of diseases, a naturopath will usually pay attention to the lifestyle of the patient. In order to treat his/her patients, the practitioner may utilize various forms of alternative therapies such as herbal remedies, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, traditional medicine, spinal manipulation, exercise, and massage.
The naturopathic healing method involves treating the patient right from the stage of the prevention of the disease occurring to debilitating, chronic and serious disease. Hence, people can opt for naturopathy for allergies, bronchitis, and colds, as well as for cancers, diabetes, and heart disease.
Naturopathy is gaining popularity all over the world because of its effective and safe healing. In many traditional Indian homes people first try out home remedies before resorting to consulting a doctor. What food is eaten or not eaten are thought to be the cause of all kinds of ailments. Therefore, a traditional Indian physician will make small changes in the diet of a patient before prescribing any medicine which is usually based on herbs. There are accredited medical schools, which provide a four-year course on naturopathy.
However, modern medical and scientific communities express concern about naturopathy replacing well-tested and studied procedures of medicine, which they think can endanger the patient's health.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.