The History of Naturopathy and Naturopathy Principles

The history of Naturopathy dates back to 400 B.C. and the Hippocratic School of Medicine where Hippocrates believed in viewing the person as a whole and turning to the laws of nature to induce cure.

Despite its ancient roots, Naturopathic principles are highly consistent with modern medical doctrines and include:

  • Nature’s Innate Power to Heal: Identifying obstacles to the body’s innate, natural processes in maintaining and restoring health
  • Disease as a Process, not an entity
  • Treating the Cause: Focusing on causes of disease or conditions, rather than on symptoms
  • Do No Harm: Minimizing side effects and suppression of symptoms
  • Humankind as Holistic: View of human beings as a holistic unity of body, mind, and spirit
  • Treating the Individual as a Whole: Tailoring treatments to each individual, taking into account physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental, lifestyle, and genetic factors
  • Doctor as Teacher: The role of the physician in educating and guiding patients to take responsibility for their own health
  • Prevention: Prevention is better than a cure; collaborating with patients to identify risk factors and prevent illness

Types of Naturopathy Treatments

Popular types of naturopathic treatments include:

  • Diet/Nutrition
  • Fasting
  • Acupuncture
  • Homeopathy
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Botanical Medicines
  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Bio-Resonance
  • Ozone Therapy
  • Colon Hydrotherapy
  • Vitamins, Minerals, and other supplements
  • Lifestyle Guidance

In addition, recently funded research in Naturopathy supported by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) include projects such as:

  • Naturopathic Herbal Approaches for Breast Cancer Prevention
  • Naturopathic Dietary Approaches for Type 2 Diabetes
  • Naturopathic Treatment of Gum Disease

How to Find a Naturopathic Practitioner

Naturopathic physicians or NDs graduate from accredited doctoral-level naturopathic medical schools and are licensed in many countries and states. However, not all areas have ND licensing laws, so beware of unqualified practitioners and seek a doctor who is trained in the safe practice of naturopathic medicine.

More specifically, in the United States, naturopathy providers fall under three categories:

  • Naturopathic Physicians, who hold a N.D. (Naturopathic Doctor) or N.M.D. (Naturopathic Medical Doctor) degree and have completed a graduate-level program at a naturopathic medical school accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education
  •  Traditional Naturopaths or simply Naturopaths, who guide clients in a naturopathic approach to a healthy lifestyle which includes strengthening and cleansing the body and noninvasive treatments; naturopaths are not subject to licensing laws
  • Health Care Providers who offer Naturopathic Services: These include doctors, nurses, dentists, chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, and other professionals who have pursued training in naturopathic and holistic therapies