The practice of Naturopathic Medicine emerges from six underlying principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in light of scientific analysis. The six principles are: the healing power of nature, identifying and treating the cause, first doing no harm, treating the whole person, treating the physician as the teacher, and prevention as the best "cure."
A traditional, classical naturopath specializes in wellness. That is to say, teaching clients how applying natural lifestyle approaches can act to facilitate the body’s own natural healing and health building potential. The traditional naturopath does not undertake to "diagnose" or "treat diseases," but rather recognizes that the majority of sub-health conditions are cumulative lifestyle effects, and that the underlying cause of what we call "disease" (or, "dis-ease") is improper diet, unhealthy habits, and environmental factors which cause biological imbalances leading to a weakening of the bodies’ natural defenses and subsequent breakdown in health.
In the past fifty-plus years there has been an immense amount of research done which recognizes and proves the benefits and importance of the naturopathic methods mentioned above. Federally accredited naturopathic medical schools are the only accredited medical schools in the United States that incorporate these natural methods at the foundation level of training for physicians.
Traditional Naturopathy (Also know as True Naturopathy) Traditional Naturopathy draws on the healing systems of many cultures including ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, medicine of Native American cultures, European homeopathic medicine, and Greek or Hippocratic medicine. For centuries these grass root traditional Naturopathic Doctors have been providing community-based care for a wide range of health problems. Its primary goal is to facilitate the body’s natural abilities to maintain or restore health.
Naturopathic Medicine is a holistic approach to health care that emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention and treatment through the use of therapeutic methods that encourage the self healing process. Naturopathic medicine integrates traditional medical therapies with the latest research in complementary and alternative medicine. Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) train extensively in the conventional medical sciences as well as in clinical nutrition, diet, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, and counseling.
Naturopathy experienced a resurgence in the late 1960s and early 1970s as the public became increasingly disillusioned with orthodox medicine. The tragic repercussions of thalidomide treatment in pregnancy became apparent and for the first time, the reductionist approach of medicine was being challenged.
Yoga and naturopathy play an important role for an alternative and effective system of medicine, which help to preserve and promote health along with curing diseases. Under these treatments, inner and outer beauty are intimately related. The more we nurture ourselves, the more radiant and attractive we become outwardly and expressively -- irrespective of our body shape and proportions.
For naturopaths, the patient-centered approach to case taking with its emphasis on rapport, empathy and authenticity is a vital part of the healing process. It is based not just on current accepted health practices but on the philosophy and principles that have underpinned naturopathy since its beginnings.
The word "naturopathy" was first used in the US exactly 100 years ago. Hippocrates, a physician who lived 2400 years ago, is often considered the earliest predecessor of naturopathic physicians, particularly in terms of his teaching that "nature is healer of all diseases" and his formulation of the concept vis medicatrix naturae, "the healing power of nature." This concept has long been at the core of indigenous medicine in many cultures around the world and remains one of the central themes of naturopathic philosophy to this day.
Naturopathy or natural medicine is the philosophy of preventing and curing as many diseases as possible by safe and efficient natural remedies including: active exercises, manipulation, pure air, pure food, pure water, herbs, skin care, dental care, inhalation, water cure, nurturing of the mind, and social integration.