Naturopathy- A Glimpse Of The Alternative Medicine


Naturopathy- A Glimpse Of The Alternative Medicine

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To which doctor do you pay a visit when you are ill? The regular allopath or do you go in for an alternative medicine like Ayurveda, homeopathy or naturopathy? You would have heard a lot about naturopathy. Have you ever visited a naturopath? Well, this post aims at giving you a glimpse what it actually is. Naturopathy that is also known as naturopathic medicine, is an alternative medicine which is based on nature’s healing power.

Naturopathy alternative medicine

Naturopathy doctors try to find out the cause of disease by understanding the patient’s body, mind and spirit. A variety of therapies and techniques are used. In naturopathy, two areas are focused: number one is supporting the body’s own ability to heal itself and number two is asking people to make necessary changes in their lifestyle for good health. Naturopathic doctors treat short term and chronic illnesses but their emphasis is on preventing disease and educating the patients.

A brief history of naturopathy

Naturopathy can be traced back to the 18th and 19th century. It was first introduced to the US in 1902 by Benjamin Lust. The American School of Naturopathy was founded. In this naturopathy school there was an emphasis on good hygiene, proper bowel habits and natural cures for good health. It was the first time that emphasis was laid on healthy eating, like reducing saturated fats and increasing fibre intake, became popular.

Mid 1920s to 1940s witnessed a decline in the use of naturopathic medicine. But in the 1960s, naturopathy became popular again. Today naturopathy is looked upon as a holistic way of treating illnesses.

How is it like visiting a naturopath?

Visiting a naturopath is similar to visiting your family doctor. The first visit may take more than hour as the doctor will get into details of your lifestyle, diet, stress and environment. He/She will do a physical examination too if needed that will involve lab tests.

Naturopathic doctors will consider various factors before diagnosing an illness. He might look at your mental and emotional state as well as your spiritual state apart from your diet, family history and your lifestyle before making a diagnosis.

Common treatments used by naturopaths are:

  • Herbal medicine
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Homeopathic medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Hydrotherapy- (water therapy) The therapies include drinking natural spring water, water exercise, taking baths, hot and cold applications. These therapies stimulate healing and help in strengthening the immune system.
  • Physical medicine- This involves healing with touch, hot and cold compresses, sound waves and electric currents.
  • Detoxification– By detoxification, toxins are removed from the body. It can be done by fasting, enemas, drinking a lot of water.
  • Spirituality
  • Lifestyle and psychological counselling

You may be asked to make lifestyle changes like changing eating, sleeping and exercise habits.

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Naturopathy is good for which kind of illnesses?

Naturopaths combine several therapies making it difficult the specific illnesses that respond well to this branch of medicine. Naturopathy can treat acute as well as chronic health conditions, from arthritis to infections, from HIV to respiratory trouble, from congestive heart failure to hepatitis. Naturopathy treats the person on the whole instead of treating just the symptoms of the disease. The aim is to help patients maintain good health. Due to its holistic approach, naturopathy is well suited for treating chronic illnesses. So, it seems to treat all kinds of illnesses without asking to gobble down strong allopathic medicines.

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