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NATUROPATHY

Naturopathy , or Naturopathic Medicine, is a form of alternative medicine based on a belief in vitalism, which posits that a special energy called vital energy or vital force guides bodily processes such as metabolism, reproduction, growth, and adaptation. Naturopathic philosophy favors a holistic approach, and, like conventional medicine seeks to find the least invasive measures necessary for symptom improvement or resolution, thus encouraging minimal use of surgery and unnecessary drugs. According to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, "Naturopathic medicine is defined by principles rather than by methods or modalities. Above all, it honors the body's innate wisdom to heal.

The term "naturopathy" is derived from Greek and Latin, and literally translates as "nature disease". Modern naturopathy grew out of the Natural Cure movement of Europe. The term was coined in 1895 by John Scheel and popularized by Benedict Lust, the "father of U.S. naturopathy". Beginning in the 1970s, there was a revival of interest in the United States and Canada in conjunction with the holistic health movement.

What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy can be termed as the science of living. It believes or describes human beings as the epitome of Universe. Accordingly visualizing self in the universe, and the universe in the self, represents the most evolved state of man. Naturopathy believes in this holistic approach of health, which can be achieved by following the laws of nature (Physical Health), Rules of good conduct (Mental/ Social Health) and developing a philosophical attitude and practicing meditation and Yoga (Spiritual Health).

Naturopathy believes that unless there is harmony between body, mind and spirit, one cannot enjoy healthy life.

Naturopathy is the multi disciplinary approach, which uses the healing power of natural resources like foods, herbs, earth, water and air to allow the body to heal itself. It also lays an emphasis on the importance of positive attitude in determining the state of one's existence.

To conclude the Naturopathy is the science of holistic health, creating a balance with the nature and a positive living.

What is Yoga?
Yoga is best known as a type of exercise system that stretches and strengthens the body through various poses known as asanas. Yoga is mainly looked upon as a set of techniques useful for achieving fitness in daily life and prevention and cure of some specific diseases or disorders. But the goal of yoga was different when yoga practices came into existence more than three thousand years ago. Throughout its history, yoga seems to have undergone changes regarding the purpose for which it was practiced. Many different varieties of yoga are being practiced for different purposes.

The Origins of Naturopathy
The principles of Naturopathy were first used by the Hippocratic School of Medicine in about 400B.C. The Greek philosopher Hippocrates believed in viewing the whole person in regards to finding a cause of disease, and using the laws of nature to induce cure. It was from this original school of thought that Naturopathy takes its principles.

The healing power of nature- nature has the innate ability to heal identify and treat the cause - there is always an underlying cause, be it physical or emotional Do no harm- a Naturopath will never use treatments that may create other conditions Treat the whole person- when preparing a treatment plan, all aspects of a person's being are taken into consideration The physician as teacher- a Naturopath empowers the patient to take responsibility for his/her own health by teaching self-care Prevention is better than cure - a Naturopath may remove toxic substances and situations from a patient's lifestyle to prevent the onset of further disease.

What does a treatment consist of?
An initial consultation with a Naturopath normally takes about an hour. During this time the Naturopath will ask questions about the person's condition, medical history, diet and lifestyle, and any conventional treatments that they may be taking. The consulting Naturopath may then use Iridology (looking into the iris), or tongue and nail diagnosis to get a better picture of the complete health state of the client. If needed, pathology testing such as hair, stool, or blood analysis may be recommended.

Once all of the information is gathered, a treatment plan is formulated that addresses all areas of the person's life, providing the body with the optimum chance to heal itself. The treatment plan may include advice on diet, lifestyle, exercise, herbal medicine, homeopathic treatments, or other suitable remedies. A Naturopath may also refer the client to other practitioners as part of an integrated health care approach.

Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is a system of medicine based on the healing power of nature. Naturopathy is a holistic system, meaning that naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) or naturopathic medical doctors (N.M.D.s) strive to find the cause of disease by understanding the body, mind, and spirit of the person. Most naturopathic doctors use a variety of therapies and techniques (such as nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and acupuncture).

There are two areas of focus in naturopathy: one is supporting the body's own healing abilities, and the other is empowering people to make lifestyle changes necessary for the best possible health. While naturopathic doctors treat both short bouts of illness and chronic conditions, their emphasis is on preventing disease and educating patients.

What is the history of naturopathy?
The modern form of naturopathy can be traced to 18th- and 19th-century natural healing systems. Such systems include hydrotherapy (water therapy), which was popular in Germany and nature cure, developed in Austria, based on the use of food, air, light, water, and herbs to treat illness.

Benjamin Lust, a German immigrant, first introduced naturopathy to the United States in 1902 when he founded the American School of Naturopathy. The school emphasized the use of natural cures, proper bowel habits, and good hygiene as the tools for health. This was the first time that principles of a healthy diet, like increasing fiber intake and reducing saturated fats, became popular.

In the mid-1920s to 1940, the use of naturopathic medicine declined. It was not until the 1960s that naturopathic-style holistic medicine became popular again. Today, naturopaths are licensed care providers in many states. They offer a variety of natural therapies, including homeopathy, vitamin and mineral supplements, Traditional Chinese Medicine, relaxation techniques, and herbal remedies.

Why Naturopathy?
We are in the midst of a paradigm shift. Our understanding of health and medicine is broadening, and both practitioners and patients are embracing a holistic, integrated approach. Patients are becoming more informed via the internet, word of mouth, and diligent research that there is something significantly missing from medicine in the current standard of care in the American healthcare system. What they are finding, and flocking to, is a group of physicians that have likewise embraced this broadened approach to medicine. Some of these practitioners adopted a more holistic approach after realizing that there was something missing from their medical training, and sought out like-minded individuals and organizations such as ACAM to further their education in this new model of healthcare. Other practitioners discovered their passion before entering medical school, and pursued the study of naturopathic medicine.

The Principals Of Naturopathic Medicine:
First Do No Harm, Primum Non Nocere - this principal is at the basis of any medical professional. Naturopathic physicians follow a therapeutic order which emphasizes the use of least force necessary to restore health, using the least toxic and minimally invasive interventions and only proceeding to more toxic and invasive interventions when necessary.

The Healing Power of Nature, Vis Medicatrix Naturae " First described by Hippocrates as the healing power of nature. It is a person's vital force within that allows an individual to overcome disease. Naturopathic Medicine recognizes an inherent ordered and intelligent self-healing process in each person. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.

Identify and Treat the Cause, Tolle Causam -The Naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms the patient is experiencing.

Doctor As Teacher, Docere - Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor/patient relationship.

Treat the Whole Person -Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account an individual's physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, spiritual, and other factors that contribute to one's health.

Prevention - Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease-assessing factors, heredity, and susceptibility to disease, and work towards making the appropriate decisions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.

Why Naturopathy?
As Mahatma Gandhi said, we must be the change you wish to see in the world.Naturopathic Doctors practice the change they want to see in medicine. Despite the fact that it has not gained universal acceptance within the United States healthcare system, Naturopathic Doctors have taken a 'leap of faith', knowing that integrative medicine is the best medicine and will eventually gain not only parity, but prominence. Naturopathy extends beyond just integrating multiple therapies and modalities in treatment. It incorporates an integrative approach to all aspects of health and wellness. Starting from day one of a naturopath's medical education and continuing throughout practice, every body system, function, disease, and treatment is viewed from a holistic perspective. It is very likely that almost every integrative medical practitioner shares at least some philosophical tenants with naturopathy, regardless of whether it is called "naturopathic" or "holistic" or "alternative". It is also likely that many integrative practitioners differ on some philosophies, treatments and approaches. Having an underlying shared philosophical approach combined with different styles, opinions, ideas and discoveries fuel evolution, progress and change. As such, the philosophy and practice of Naturopathic Medicine is a part of the evolving consciousness and paradigm shift towards a more holistic and integrative approach to healthcare that will soon become the new standard for conventional medicine.

Why Choose Naturopathy?
Naturopathic medicine includes many aspects of conventional medicine as well as complementary medical practices. The focus of naturopathic medicine is to treat the underlying cause of illness with the use of medicines and therapies that are based in nature. Naturopathic medicine combines the science of modern chemistry with the wisdom of older healing traditions. This form of medicine can be applied in an acute situation, or as treatment for chronic diseases. Naturopathic medicine also works well in combination with conventional medicine as a support to the body's natural healing properties.