Naturopathy : Techniques, Benefits and Principles

Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is an old science medicine used from ancient times in India, the modern version of Naturopathy originated in Germany and Europe in the 16th and 17th century, based on a belief that the body encompasses the ability to heal itself through special vital energy. Naturopathy is a system of healthcare that emphasizes disease prevention, recognizes the body’s innate healing capacity, and has great potential to attain optimal health.

The practice Naturopathy comprises many therapies, including massage, acupuncture, exercise, nature cures, proper hygiene, and nutritional counselling.

Naturopathy : Techniques, Benefits and Principles
Naturopathy : Techniques, Benefits and Principles

What does a Naturopathic Doctor do? How does it work?

A Naturopathic practitioner or doctor examines one by questioning the medical history, lifestyle habits and stress levels, document symptoms of the patient and make their diagnosis, recommendation, and prescription using holistic and nontoxic approaches. The Naturopathic doctor focuses on treating the root cause of illness, emphasizing disease prevention, enlisting the body’s self-healing abilities, working on the nutrition and wellness of interviewed patients.Naturopathic physicians also perform laboratory tests in combination with the patient’s diagnosis to determine the most effective treatment. Instead of prescribing heavy doses of a drug, the naturopathic practitioner uses naturally occurring remedies that can be easily found in foods, herbs, and vitamin supplements. The doctors emphasize the use of natural healing agents but also exercise complementary and alternative therapies regimens like homeopathy, mindfulness training, biofeedback, and Ayurvedic or Chinese medicine to heal and reduce pain.

Techniques and Benefits of Naturopathy Modalities

Naturopathy is a highly individualized treatment that is often successful at treating chronic conditions even when conventional medicine and practices fail to respond. One of the main principles of Naturopathic medicine is to promote & maintain the body’s long-term optimal health. Naturopathic physicians develop a suitable treatment plan involving nutritional supplements, diet therapy and recommend exercising a combination of multiple therapies such as acupuncture, massage, physical manipulations and much more following the Naturopathic principles to gain optimum benefits: 
  • Disease prevention
  • Helps boost the immune system
  • Treatment of digestive disorders, allergies, skin conditions like eczema & psoriasis
  • Overcome insomnia & other sleep disorders
  • Helps connects one with their inner self and recognize the body’s innate healing capacity
  • Focuses on a combination of emotional, physical & spiritual wellness
  • Prevention from future health problems.
  • Stimulates positive thinking
  • Reduces stress, anxiety & depression

Common Naturopathic Modalities practiced by Doctors include:

Hydrotherapy - जल चिकित्सा – Jal Chikitsa
Mud Therapy पृथ्वी चिकित्सा - Prithvi Chikitsa
Diet Therapy - आहार चिकित्सा - Aahaar Chikitsa
Acupressure Therapy - मर्म चिकित्सा - Marma Chitiksa
Heliotherapy - सूर्य चिकित्सा– Surya chikitsa
Air Therapy - वायु चिकित्सा - Vayu Chikitsa
Massage Therapy - मसाज थेरेपी - Abhyanga
Fasting Therapy - आकाश चिकित्सा - Aakash Chikitsa
Acupuncture Therapy - Siravedhana - Marmapuncture
Magnet Therapy - चुंबक चिकित्सा - Chumbak Chikitsa

Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

The practice of naturopathic medicine is growing at records and involves modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods which work on six major principles of healing:
1. The Healing Power of Nature
Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body’s inherent self-healing ability and helps restore health. Naturopathic doctors and practitioners work to support the healing power, identify and remove obstacles to recovery, and prevent further disease from occurring.
2. Identify and Treat the Cause
Naturopathic doctors identify, address and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than just the symptoms of the disease. The cause might occur on various levels involving physical, mental, and spiritual levels. Thus, doctors must evaluate the underlying cause on all levels and treat the root causes rather than only eliminating the symptoms of the disease.
3. First, do no Harm

Naturopathic medicine and the treatment plan use therapies that are non-invasive and effective. The Naturopathic physicians follow certain guidelines to avoid harming the patient:

 

  • Exercise of methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects;
  • Use techniques that do not suppress symptoms
  • Acknowledge and work with individuals’ self-healing process
4. Doctor as teacher
Educate, empower, motivate and support the patients on personal health management, proper diet, and lifestyle. Besides diagnosis and delivering appropriate prescriptions, naturopathic physicians must also focus on encouraging patients to take responsibility for their health.
5. Treat the whole person
To treat the person the physicians, conduct naturopathic assessment addressing the nutritional status, lifestyle, medical history, physical, mental, emotional, and social factors that might be a cause of illness. Instead of focusing on only physical symptoms, the physicians also consider genetic, environmental, spiritual and other factors.
6. Prevention
Education and promotion of balanced lifestyle habits, proper diet plans, exercise, and additional factors that foster good health can help prevent disease. The physician assesses risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease, make an appropriate intervention to prevent illness.

Naturopathic Treatment Forms

The naturopathy doctors and practitioners work on various modalities to help patients attain good health. Naturopathic medicine is effective in treating most health problems, both acute and chronic using various forms of treatment like Clinical Nutrition, Counselling and Stress Management, Botanical Medicine, Physical Medicine, Homeopathy.
Clinical Nutrition
It is a practice of using nutritional food to maintain proper health, disease prevention and treat illness. Doctors conduct clinical assessments and accordingly recommend the dietary plan as per the symptoms.
Counselling and Stress Management
NDs also conduct counselling, biofeedback, meditation, therapies and other mind-body techniques to work on mental attitudes and emotional states of the patients that can affect health.
Botanical Medicine
This form of treatment is also referred to as herbal medicine. Many plant substances are powerful and safe to be used as medicine. Cranberry, Saw palmetto, Soy is some of the most popular botanicals.
Physical Medicine
Hydrotherapy, Exercise, naturopathic manipulation of the muscles, bones, and spine, therapeutic ultrasound, acupuncture are some of the forms of treatment included under Physical Medicine.
Homeopathy
Certain health conditions do not respond well to conventional medicine. To treat illness in such cases doctors exercise another form of a medical system known as Homeopathy. Homeopathy is an old form of medical treatment that uses highly diluted natural substances to treat sickness.

Who Can Use Naturopathic Medicine?

If one fails to find relief for chronic illness using traditional medicine, we recommend naturopathy treatment as a great option.

 

In many cases, one can follow both conventional and naturopathic medicine to treat an ailment. Naturopathy treatment includes proper medication for allergies, chronic pain, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, obesity, headaches, respiratory conditions, fertility problems, menopause, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and more health problems.

 

Though make sure your doctors know about your conventional medications and naturopathic treatments if practiced.