What is Naturopathy?

Updated at: Feb 04, 2013
What is Naturopathy?

Naturopathy is an alternate medicinal treatment which relies on natural remedies and the body’s apparent vitalistic ability to heal itself. It calls itself a “natural medicine” in essence, and favours holistic approaches inste

Rory Coen
Home RemediesWritten by: Rory CoenPublished at: Feb 04, 2013

Woman applying mud packNaturopathy is an alternate medicinal treatment which relies on natural remedies and the body’s apparent vitalistic ability to heal itself. It calls itself a “natural medicine” in essence, and favours holistic approaches instead of surgery and chemicals. This article aims at educating you more on the values of naturopathy or naturopathic medicine.


Naturopathy is very focused on holistic treatments, whereby the root cause of the illness should be treated, instead of focusing on individual symptoms. The body should utilise its natural healing capabilities to fight the illness. Drugs, surgery or any other chemical treatments are not allowed to aid the recovery process, but it does allow "natural" remedies - such as herbs and foods – which are relatively unprocessed or whole medications.


Naturopathy looks at all aspects of the patient’s lifestyle and resolves a holistic treatment based on this. The ailment or disease could be a result of a physical, emotional, physiological or spiritual imbalance and the expert tries varied techniques and therapies to get to its root cause. Remember that naturopathy looks at all aspects of the patient’s life and not just the symptoms of the disease or ailment.


Naturopathy recognizes the integrity of the whole person and promotes the intrinsic, healing capabilities of the body. It is a science of natural healing and its various use of the natural elements – fire, air, water, earth, sky - as a means, can be deemed as therapy. These therapies are prescribed by a naturopath, who is qualified to analyse your lifestyle and make a decision on your therapy.


Depending on the Naturopath’s experience and scope of practice, therapies can include the following.

  • Acupuncture
  • Applied kinesiology
  • Color therapy
  • Homeopathy
  • Liver blood analysis
  • Cranial osteopathy
  • Nutrition – vegetarian diets, fasting, abstention from alcohol, nicotine or sugar.
  • Hydrotherapy – drinking natural spring water, application of hot and cold water, swimming and other pool exercises.
  • Physical medicine - osseous, soft tissue manipulative therapy, sports medicine or exercise.
  • Reflexology
  • Psychological counseling – meditation, yoga, stress management, relaxation.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine

It’s difficult to assert which illnesses naturopathy is best suited to. By its very nature, it focuses on the individual as a whole, instead of the symptoms of the actual illness. Whilst Naturopaths are content to treat both acute and chronic illnesses, they aren’t treating the illness specifically; they’re primary aim is to improve the patients quality of life and health instead.


If this naturopathic approach is something that might interest you, it might be best to talk to a medical doctor first and get his opinion. It’s possible he will advise against it, as the therapy might be counter-productive against your current medication for other illnesses. If he gives you the all-clear, be sure to list any medications or allergies you may have to your naturopath.




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