One person in 43Things wants to get a doctorate in naturopathy. I cheered her but I don’t know what naturopathy is ‘cause this is the first time I’ve encountered the word…
Naturopathy is a whole medical system that has its roots in Germany. It was developed further in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States, where today it is part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM. A group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, and alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine.1. The word naturopathy comes from Greek and Latin and literally translates as “nature disease.”
A central belief in naturopathy is that nature has a healing power (a principle called vis medicatrix naturae). Another belief is that living organisms (including the human body) have the power to maintain (or return to) a state of balance and health, and to heal themselves. Practitioners of naturopathy prefer to use treatment approaches that they consider to be the most natural and least invasive, instead of using drugs and more invasive procedures.
Naturopathy was named and popularized in the United States by Benedict Lust, who was born in Germany in the late 1800s. When Lust became seriously ill with what he believed was tuberculosis, he was treated by a priest and healer in Germany named Sebastian Kneipp. Kneipp’s treatment was based on various healing approaches and philosophies that were popular in Europe, including:
- Hydrotherapy (water treatments).
- The “nature cure” movement, which focused on restoring health through a return to nature. This movement advocated therapies such as gentle exercise, herbal medications, wholesome dietary approaches, and exposure to sun and air.
Lust found his health much improved from Kneipp’s treatment, and when he immigrated to the United States at the turn of the 20th century, he was dedicated to popularizing it. He gave it the name naturopathy, led the way in developing it as a medical system in the United States, and founded the first naturopathic college and professional association. In naturopathy’s early years, other therapies were added to its practice-for example, homeopathyA whole medical system that originated in Europe. Homeopathy seeks to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself by giving very small doses of highly diluted substances that in larger doses would produce illness or symptoms (an approach called “like cures like”). and manipulationThe application of controlled force to a joint, moving it beyond the normal range of motion in an effort to aid in restoring health. Manipulation may be performed as a part of other therapies or whole medical systems, including chiropractic medicine, massage, and naturopathy. (a hands-on therapy).
Naturopathy’s popularity reached its peak in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. However, its use began to decline when drugs (such as antibiotics) and other developments in conventional medicineMedicine as practiced by holders of M.D. (medical doctor) or D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degrees and by their allied health professionals such as physical therapists, psychologists, and registered nurses. moved to the forefront of health care. Naturopathy began to reemerge in the 1970s, with increased consumer interest in “holistic” health approaches and the founding of new naturopathic medical colleges. Today, naturopathy is practiced in a number of countries, including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.
Source: NCAM: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine website