Dr. Benedict Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York City and graduated its first class in 1902. A number of other schools were organized and by the 1930's there were more than twenty naturopathic colleges and over 10,000 practitioners. The allopathic medical schools which had the backing of the pharmaceutical industry flourished with large endowments and the political influence, which comes with wealth. Due to lack of funding, naturopathic education began to decline and only recently has the disenchantment with pharmaceutically trained doctors led people to once again begin exploring and embracing natural, God-given, simple, effective remedies found in naturopathy.
Today, Naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) have participated in a specialized course of study and received degrees in naturopathy. Some states license naturopaths and regulate the profession. In those states, the naturopaths must also have passed a national or state board examination and their practice is subject to review by a State Board of Examiners. Several naturopathic, professional organizations also require the candidate to pass a proficiency test in naturopathy in order to join their organization.
Naturopathic doctors focus on building health rather than on treating disease. They are not orthodox medical doctors (M.D.s). Naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) are conventionally trained in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, counseling, dietary evaluations, nutrition, herbology, acupressure, reflexology, cell therapy, muscle relaxation and structural normalization, homeopathy, iridology, exercise therapy, hydrotherapy, oxygen therapy and thermal therapy. Therefore, Naturopathic doctors have a broad scope of modalities available. The services by a Naturopathic doctor are non-invasive; unique to fit the needs of the individual; and may include herbs, fasting, nutritional supplements, bodywork, hydrotherapy, and forms of exercise or body movement. They are trained to use a wide variety of natural methods which involve the individual in the healing process.
Naturopathy is based upon a belief in the body's innate God-given natural ability to heal itself when given an appropriate internal and external healing environment. Naturopaths are not involved in the practice of medicine and do not use drugs or pharmaceuticals. They have traditionally been referred to as "drugless doctors." In reality, naturopathy deals with wellness and relief from conditions which are the result of stress whether from mental, nutritional, environmental or physical factors.
Principles of Naturopathy
The Naturopathic philosophy advocates a number of principles that promote health through education and non-invasive natural agents.
- Do No Harm. Certainly anybody who is sick does not need any therapy or treatment which can harm him/her. Since prescription medication has such a potential to make a well man sick, many wonder how it can be expected to make a sick man well. Traditional naturopathy embraces only therapies or procedures which are designed to enhance healing and produce wellness.
- Recognize The Healing Power Of Nature. The human body is created with the capacity to heal itself and to maintain homeostasis. There is a healing power in nature and this principal is the basis for all of naturopathy. Naturopathy is a system designed to work in harmony with nature in the restoration and support for the inherent natural healing systems of the body.
Identify The Cause. In allopathic medicine the name of the disease is actually the name of the symptom in Greek. For example, the term "arthritis" is made up of two Greek roots "arthro" which means having to do with the joint and "itis" meaning pain or inflammation. Allopathic doctors seek to treat the joint pain by reducing the joint pain. This can be done with the use of pain killers, nerve blockers or any number of procedures. Naturopaths are committed to removing the joint pain by finding and removing the cause. Perhaps this may prove to be a calcium and/or mineral deficiency caused by either a primary or secondary nutritional deficiency. Or perhaps the cause could be from an injury or possibly from an over acid condition in the body. For naturopaths, the correction of the cause is the most plausible way of eliminating the symptoms and restoring health to the person.
Involve The Total Person. Naturopathic doctors are aware that a person can have a physical, spiritual or emotional illness. The chosen therapy is determined by what kind of problem the person is experiencing. You cannot be well or healthy if you have a spiritual or mental problem even if you appear perfectly fit. Naturopaths use various counseling, and stress management techniques for those experiencing emotional or spiritual problems.
Teach Rather Than Treat. Naturopathic philosophy places the responsibility for wellness with the individual. Man is the steward of his body and the doctor is the teacher or advisor to the individual on how to maintain health. One recognizes that a headache is not an aspirin deficiency but rather the result of some imbalance within the body. Some principle of health has been violated and the body is responding with pain. Naturopaths should evaluate the connotation and advise or teach their clients what lifestyle, nutritional, emotional or dietary changes should be made to alleviate the condition. The condition is alleviated by the clients making those changes and not by some outside agency.
Identify The Source. Man wonderfully made. Germs are considered the culprit for many conditions found by allopathic physicians. Naturopaths understand germs are a normal part of the economy of the earth and that they are put here by the Creator to destroy sick, weakened and devitalized tissues. Thus, germs are attracted to the depleted tissues in the body. In order to reverse the disease process, the body needs to have its tissues revitalized. This explains why when two people are exposed to the same germs only one person gets sick (the person with the devitalized tissues).
Prevent Disease. It is admirable that there is an effective system based on natural restorative methods. However, it is preferable for the body not to experience imbalances and their resulting consequences. Naturopaths are prepared to advise clients on simple disease prevention principles which are designed to produce health and avoid the destructive consequences which occur as the result of violating those principles. |
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