¤ A Vital Curative Force Within The Body
Naturopathy is a century old healing disciple that fell from favour
about 40 years ago, when drugs and technology became the norm. But
recent years have seen the revival of naturopaths popularity, as
more people have become disillusioned with conventional medicine. The
appeal of naturopathic physicians is that while they have an
educational background similar to that of conventional MD's, they also
take extensive course work in various alternative remedies.
This practice is based on recognition that the body possesses an
inherent ability to heal thyself. Naturopathy or the healing power of
nature ( vis medicatrix naturae), underpins nearly all the therapeutic
techniques in alternative medicine.
¤ Acupuncture, Manipulation and Homeopathy
They all depend on bodys ability to heal itself if pushed,
needled or coaxed in the right direction. Although naturopathy is a
relatively recent word, its therapeutic approach and principles
represent the essence of a broad holistic attitude to health and
disease. It challenges reductionism, which represents the essential
philosophical basis and attitude of modern scientific medicine.
Naturopaths believe that illness is caused by bad living habits like
eating the wrong foods, too much stress and not having enough
exercise. As a result of all these, waste materials and bodily refuse
build up and poison the system. The therapy is to throw off these
toxic accumulations by adapting to a healthier regime including a
wholesome diet, hydro therapy, manipulation and psychological
The physician takes an extensive case history, including not only
family disease history but also your own habits, such as what you eat
and how much exercise and sleep you get, as well as your feelings and
attitudes towards your health.
¤ Naturopathic Physicians
Naturopathic physicians vary in their approach, style and choices of
therapies -- one practitioner might rely heavily on herbal medicine
while another may emphasize homeopathy - but they all base their
practices on the same underlying principles of healing.
These include a belief in the healing power of nature, the importance
of treating the whole person, the goal of treating the cause of an
illness rather than merely the symptoms, the idea that the prevention
of illness is the ultimate cure and the priority of doing no harm to
the patient (such as avoiding treatments that cause side effects).
This means using only agents upon which life depends, and more or
less as they are found in nature, such as air, water, sunlight,
relaxation, exercise and dietic adjustment. Many naturopaths use other
techniques, such as acupuncture, but these may properly be considered
auxiliary. Naturopaths believe that orthodox treatment only drives the
symptoms underground ready to return another time, because it does not
remove their cause.
¤ The Practice of Fasting
Many "health farms" began with the therapy in mind,
especially with the fasting regimes designed to purify the system, and
the complete ban on smoking and alcohol. Most doctors believe
naturopathic techniques are suited to prevention rather than cure.
This is despite the growing evidence that high fiber diets, low fat
diets and additive free diets can effectively control heart disease,
bowel conditions and allergies. A naturopath merely finds the most
appropriate way to help the body to stimulate itself into using its
inherent powers to heal itself.
¤ Meditation and Relaxation
Naturopathy in one way can be said to have been practiced from
earliest times. We can say that the first man to rest and miss a meal
when he felt off colour was practicing naturopathy; the first people
to relax their stiffened muscles by bathing in hot springs, or relieve
pain and inflammation with cold water sprays, were applying
naturopathic methods. The individuals who first developed meditation
and relaxation as a means of calming the turmoil of their spirits were
¤ Naturopathy- A Self Healing System
is the creation of conditions which enable the body to heal itself as
far as it is capable of so doing. The earliest physicians used their
observations of the body in health and disease to evolve an art of
healing whose principles hold good to this day. Man was seen as
integral part of nature and the universe, and they recognised that his
health depended on maintaining harmony with them. The means of
achieving this were present in the basic essential of life.
Rather than prescribing a standard treatment for common health
complaints, a naturopathic physician provides an individualised
approach based on natural therapies. If your complaint is a sore
throat, the doctor might prescribe immune boosting vitamins and herbs,
show you how to use a throat compress to bring blood to the area to
speed the healing, or help you understand how you dietary habits
trigger recurring infection.
In the year 1829, Vincenz Priessnitz cured himself by natures
methods after being given up by the medical profession, founded a
sanatorium on his fathers homestead in Germany. His
pharmacopoeia consisted neither in pills of doctor, nor any
suppressive methods of treatment but in pre unadulterated food,
bathing in the sparkling brooks, fresh air and exercise, massage
fasting and the like. Since then nature cure has spread rapidly.