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What is Naturopathic Treatment ?

Origins of Naturopathic Treatment:
The ancient Greek "Father of Medicine", Hippocrates, as the first advocate of naturopathic medicine, before the term existed. The modern practice of naturopathy has its roots in the Nature Cure movement of Europe during the 19th century. In Scotland, Thomas Allinson started advocating his "Hygienic Medicine" in the 1880s, promoting a natural diet and exercise with avoidance of tobacco and overwork. The term sanipractor has sometimes been used to refer to naturopaths, particularly in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. In 1901, Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York. In 1902, the original North American Kneipp Societies were discontinued and renamed "NATUROPATHIC Societies". In September 1919 the Naturopathic Society of America was dissolved and Dr. Benedict Lust founded the “American Naturopathic Association” to supplant it. Naturopaths became licensed under naturopathic or drugless practitioner laws in 25 states in the first three decades of the twentieth century. Naturopathy was adopted by many chiropractors, and several schools offered both Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) and Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degrees. Estimates of the number of naturopathic schools active in the United States during this period vary from about one to two dozen. Naturopathy never completely ceased to exist. Beginning in the 1970s, interest waxed in the United States and Canada in conjunction with the holistic health movement.
Today, there are nine schools of Traditional naturopathy offering certificate or degree programs accredited by the American Naturopathic Medical Accredation Board  The National Board Of Naturopathic Examiners of the ANA currently recognizes two schools offering Doctor of Naturopathy Degree programs. Naturopaths use a wide variety of treatment modalities, focusing on natural self-healing rather than any specific method. Some methods rely on immaterial "vital energy fields", the existence of which has not been proven, and there is concern that naturopathy as a field tends towards isolation from general scientific discourse. The effectiveness of naturopathy as a whole system has not been systematically evaluated, and efficacy of individual methods used varies. Naturopaths do not necessarily recommend vaccines and antibiotics, and may provide inappropriate alternative remedies even in cases where evidence-based medicine has been shown effective. All forms of naturopathic education include concepts incompatible with basic science, and do not
necessarily prepare a practitioner to make appropriate diagnosis or referrals.
Naturopathic Treatment:
The term "naturopathy" is derived from Greek and Latin, and literally translates as "nature disease". Modern naturopathy grew out of the Natural Cure movement of Europe. The term was coined in 1895 by John Scheel and popularized by Benedict Lust, the "father of U.S. naturopathy". Beginning in the 1970s, there was a revival of interest in the United States and Canada in conjunction with the holistic health movement. Naturopathic practitioners are split into two groups, traditional naturopaths and naturopathic physicians. Naturopathic physicians employ the principles of naturopathy within the context of conventional medical practices. Naturopathy comprises many different treatment modalities of varying degrees of acceptance by the
conventional medical community; these treatments range from standard evidence-based treatments, to homeopathy and other practices sometimes characterized as pseudoscience. Naturopathy is practiced in many countries, primarily the United States and Canada, and is subject to different standards of regulation and levels of acceptance. The scope of practice varies widely between jurisdictions, and naturopaths in unregulated jurisdictions may use the Naturopathic Doctor designation or other titles regardless of level of education. The philosophical and methodological underpinnings of naturopathy are sometimes in conflict with the paradigm of evidence-based medicine (EBM). Many naturopaths have opposed vaccination based in part on the early philosophies that shaped the profession.
Basic Philosophy of Naturopathy:
Naturopathic ideology focuses on naturally-occurring substances, minimally-invasive methods, and encouragement of natural healing. Naturopaths generally favor an intuitive and vitalistic conception of the body, and complete rejection of biomedicine and modern science is common. Prevention through stress reduction and a healthy diet and lifestyle is emphasized, and pharmaceutical drugs, ionizing radiation, and surgery are generally minimized. The philosophy of naturopathic practice is self-described by six core values. Multiple versions exist in the form of the naturopathic doctor's oath, various mission statements published by schools or professional associations, and ethical conduct guidelines published by regulatory bodies:
  1. First, do no harm; provide the most effective health care available with the least risk to patients at all times (primum non nocere).
  2. Recognize, respect and promote the self-healing power of nature inherent in each individual human being. (Vis medicatrix naturae, a form of vitalism).
  3. Identify and remove the causes of illness, rather than eliminate or suppress symptoms (Tolle Causum).
  4. Educate, inspire rational hope and encourage self-responsibility for health (Doctor as Teacher).
  5. Treat each person by considering all individual health factors and influences. (Treat the Whole Person).
  6. Emphasize the condition of health to promote well-being and to prevent diseases for the individual, each community and our world. (Health Promotion, the Best Prevention)
Methodology:
The particular modalities utilized by an individual naturopath varies with training and scope of practice. Thedemonstrated efficacy and scientific rationale also varies. These include: Acupuncture, Applied kinesiology, Botanical medicine, Brainwave entrainment, Chelation therapy for atherosclerosis, Colonic enemas, Color therapy, Cranial osteopathy, Hair analysis, Homeopathy, Iridology, Live blood analysis, Nature cure - a range of therapies based upon exposure to natural elements such as sunshine, fresh air, heat, or cold, Nutrition(vegetarian and wholefood diet, fasting, and abstention from alcohol and sugar), Ozone therapy, Physical medicine (includes naturopathic, osseous, and soft tissue manipulative therapy, sports medicine, exercise and hydrotherapy), Psychological counseling ( meditation, relaxation, and other methods of stress management), Public health measures and hygiene, Reflexology, Rolfing, and Traditional Chinese medicine. A 2004 survey determined the most commonly prescribed naturopathic therapeutics in Washington State and Connecticut were botanical medicines, vitamins, minerals, homeopathy, and allergy treatments.
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