What is Naturopathy

Although the term “naturopathy” originated in the late 19th Century, the art can be traced back through Germany into Greece, to Hippocrates himself, and even beyond. There have always been people who understood that healing will occur naturally in the human body, if it is given what it truly needs, that is proper diet, pure water, fresh air, sunlight, exercise, and rest. For these people, the emphasis has not been on finding a disease and killing it, but rather on helping the body establish its own state of good health. Today, these people are known as naturopaths or naturopathic consultants.

While naturopaths recognize that allopathic health care is, at times, necessary, they understand that many accepted allopathic treatments may be harmful or ineffective in promoting health. Allopathic philosophy holds that disease is caused by external agents. According to this philosophy, healing will result when offending agents are eliminated. In addition, the allopathic approach also tends to look at the symptom and the disease as one and the same, so that when the symptom has been eliminated, it is presumed that the disease is cured. The naturopath, however, sees a symptom as nothing more than a signal that something is wrong. According to naturopathic belief, when a symptom alone is eliminated, it is most likely being suppressed. Unless the original cause has also been eliminated, the symptom may return later in a chronic form.


Naturopaths Do

·  Do no harm.

·  Recognize the healing
power of nature.

·  Find and eliminate the
cause of poor health.

·  Teach health.

·  Honor the total person.

·  Prevent “dis-ease.”

Naturopaths Do NOT

·  Diagnose disease.

·  Treat disease.

·  Prescribe drugs and
pharmaceuticals.

·  Perform invasive
procedures.

Naturopaths Do

The origin of “education” was celebrated in the Latin phrase docendo discimus: “by teaching we learn.”

In teaching clients how to live a healthy, holistic lifestyle, naturopaths follow these principles:

Do no harm.
Primum non nocere is part of the Hippocratic oath. Naturopaths do not use harmful, artificial substances such as drugs and pharmaceuticals; nor do they use invasive and dangerous procedures, such as surgery.

Recognize the healing power of nature.
Naturopaths understand the body’s innate capacity for self-healing. They educate clients in creating external and internal environments conducive to healing.

Find and eliminate the cause of poor health.
Naturopaths help clients evaluate lifestyle choices to identify both the cause of a problem and how to correct it.

Teach health.
Naturopaths teach clients how to achieve and maintain good health. They empower clients, enabling them to participate in the process of staying well.

Honor the total person.
A person is never simply a headache, or a backache, or a sore throat. Except in the case of acute injury, seldom does any problem occur in isolation. Naturopaths understand that people are interconnected physical, mental, and spiritual beings, and that one “dis-ease” affects all areas of life.

Prevent “dis-ease.”
In teaching clients how to create homeostatic balance, naturopaths help others achieve future health as well.

Naturopaths Do NOT

The origin of “doctor” was in the Latin, docere: “to teach.”

In teaching clients how to live a healthy, holistic lifestyle, naturopaths avoid certain allopathic practices:

Diagnose disease.
Naturopaths perform evaluations and analyses to determine the root cause of problems, but they do not diagnose disease.

Treat disease.
Naturopaths focus on health and education, not on treating any specific disease. Naturopaths empower clients to create internal and external environments that are conducive to good health.

Prescribe drugs and pharmaceuticals.
Many naturopaths teach clients about herbs, homeopathic remedies, and the healing properties in foods and nutritional supplements. They do not prescribe drugs.

Perform invasive procedures.
Depending on the type and extent of their training, naturopaths may use hands-on modalities such as reflexology or acupressure. There are naturopaths who are also chiropractors or massage therapists, who may blend naturopathic modalities with those common to their other discipline. For example, this would include performing spinal adjustments if the naturopath is also a chiropractor. Naturopaths do not perform invasive procedures such as surgery of any kind. They do not give injections or draw blood.