Naturopathic Medicine, or Naturopathy, is a system of medicine that uses natural substances to treat the patient and recognition that the patient's mental, emotional, and physical states must all be treated for a lasting effect.
This type of medicine had been practiced for hundreds, if not thousands of years and until the late 1800s in the United States, the standard medical schools taught herbal, homoeopathic, and nutritional medicine along with surgery and other types of medicines.
The focus on isolating components of the herbs to create more potent, but potentially more toxic drugs and the advent of antibiotics, (whose long-term adverse consequences were not understood) meant that the slower, more gradual effects of Naturopathic medicine were pushed aside. The current resurgence is due to recognition of both the accomplishments and the limitations of the current medical system and the efficacy of Naturopathic medicine.
The foundation of Naturopathic medicine is the vitalistic philosophy of the "healing power of nature." This means that within every human organism there is a healing energy, which includes our immune system in the fuller sense of both the physical and the psyche, which is responsible for our wellness and our ability to heal and maintain health.
Following this first premise is the second, that the therapies used to support and stimulate this healing power of nature must be in "the gentlest, least invasive, most efficient manner possible".
Clinical Nutrition (Vitamin and mineral therapy)
Manual Medicine (like remedial massage)
Within a naturopathic consultation all areas of life are taken into consideration including:
Family and living environment,
Previous and current illness
Emotional and mental stress Exercise
Assessments may be carried out looking at the iris (Iridology), tongue and nails and part of the consultation may be used for allergy and sensitivity testing. This leads to a holistic plan which suits each individual.
Given the right environment, both internal and external, the body has the ability to heal itself. Naturopathy can play a part in facilitating a change in life that all lead to better health and a sense of well being.