Much like other non-Western traditional treatment for diseases that are evidence-based, naturopathy is another model of medicine that people should embrace and support. Some of the reasons are that it focuses on the prevention of diseases, it is affordable, and it uses non-toxic method of treatment for patients as it only assists the healing ability of our body; the power of biological nature that is the force behind everything around and within us. It is the art and science of diagnosing and treating so-called diseases through case to case approach using natural bio-support such as foods (fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc.), herbs, supplements, vitamins, aromatherapy, massages, acupuncture, acupressure, and even various forms of psychological method such as counselling and meditation. By looking not only at the symptoms but also at the patient’s lifestyle, diet, and emotional and psychological reality, naturopathic doctors address the cause of illness and then treat it non-invasively.
Naturopathy is another form of holistic medicine. For a naturopathic doctor (ND), diet and lifestyle are very important. They recommend foods that are highly nutritious to nourish the body and strengthen its defense mechanism for maximum capacity. They undertake four years of medical courses in college that are usually equivalent to conventional medical schools; studying medical sciences such as biochemistry, pathology, neurology, immunology, cardiology, paediatrics, gynecology, etc. In addition to these curriculums, they also take preparatory courses for the science of natural therapeutics such as “clinical nutrition, botanical medicines, homeopathy, physical medicine, exercise therapy, lifestyle counseling, and hydrotherapy”. In 1998, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) defines naturopathic medicine as:
“A distinct system of primary health care; an art, science, philosophy, and practice of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illness. Naturopathic medicine is distinguished by the principles upon which its practice is based. These principles are continually re-examined in the light of scientific advances. The techniques of naturopathic medicine include modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods.”
Meanwhile, www.nimba.in wrote:
“Naturopathy believes in healing power of nature which supports and stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal from inside. The goal of naturopathic medicine is to treat the whole person which means mind, body, and soul. It is a non-invasive, drugless holistic approach to treating all aspects of a person’s health effectively. It also emphasizes on strengthening the body’s natural defenses. Naturopathic practices treat underlying disease & disorders & restores natural body functions by encouraging the body’s own healing capabilities.
Healing capacity can be strengthen by (Aachaar) – Right Conduct (Vichaar) – Right Thinking (Aahaar) – Right Food Patterns (Vihaar) – Right Everyday routine. Naturopathy promotes positive thinking, lowers stress, anxiety and depression, improves mental wellbeing, enhances positive views, boosts optimism, improves one’s ability to cope with health-related issues. It argues that health and disease are linked to issues far beyond just germs and infection —everything that occurs in your life is interconnected.”
Chronic illnesses can also be cured through naturopathic approach. It is the best option if the patient really wants to avoid harmful side effects from allopathic drugs which sometimes contain toxic chemical ingredients and that are also usually over-prescribed by some physicians who want to have extra income. This is because NDs are taught to believe, respect, and trust not only nature’s healing ability but also the human mind and body to regulate activities that are happening inside of us. Although naturopathy is not specifically appropriate for medical cases that need immediate treatment such as fractures and accidents, it is still helpful (and important indeed) for follow up treatment of such cases. And most importantly, naturopathic approach are proven to be helpful with conditions that are common such as chronic stress, allergies, hormonal imbalance, digestion and bowel movement, arthritis and many other health problems.
For more about Naturopathy, check out these references: