Naturopathy is a form of natural medicine which has been around since the 19th century. Since then, it’s developed into its own entire field of alternative medicine which has been steadily gaining popularity since the 1970s.
At its core, naturopathy is based on the idea of vitalism, which states that every bodily process is powered and modified by vital energy. Because of this idea, naturopathic practitioners use much less invasive procedures to treat an ailment, and encourages the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Often the focus is on preventative care. All naturopathic practitioners follow six principles, which have remained unchanged for decades.
1. The first principle is the most important and sets the tone for all naturopathic treatments: do no harm and provide the best health care you can to your patient with the least risk.
2. Understand and promote the body’s natural ability to heal itself. This is why naturopathic treatments focus less on medications and surgical procedures.
3. Focus on removing the cause of the illness instead of merely treating the symptoms. Practitioners of naturopathy emphasize that simply “curing” the symptoms of an illness is only temporary, and the if you don’t treat the cause, the symptoms will reappear or get worse.
4. Promote naturopathy and educate your patient to be vigilant and take responsibility for their health. In this manner, naturopaths don’t merely treat the ailment, but teach their patients how to treat themselves.
5. Provide treatments to patients taking into account all individual health factors. This takes the form of the naturopathic mantra, “Treat the whole person,” which is what makes naturopathy a very holistic form of natural medicine.
6. Promote good health to prevent disease for the individual and the greater community. This principle explains how naturopathy particularly focuses on preventative natural medicine, in hopes of fostering good health to prevent illness in the first place.
How do naturopaths use these six principles to treat various ailments? For example, many naturopathic treatments use a change in diet to alleviate certain ailments, which can involve taking on a vegetarian diet, or fasting for specific periods of time. There are also specific treatments like colon cleansing, chelation therapy, and brainwave synchronization.
There are a wide variety of treatments depending on the specific cause of illness, but each one never strays from the six guiding principles of naturopathy.