What is Naturopathy?


This article was originally written by Dr. Stuart Hoover, NHD

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Although the term “traditional naturopathy” originated in the late 19th Century, the art can be traced back through Germany into Greece, to Hippocrates himself, and even beyond. There have always been people who understood that healing will occur naturally in the human body, if it is given what it truly needs, that is proper diet, pure water, fresh air, sunlight, exercise, and rest. For these people, the emphasis has not been on finding a disease and killing it, but rather on helping the body establish its own state of good health. Today, these people are known as traditional naturopaths or naturopathic consultants.
While traditional naturopaths recognize that allopathic health care is, at times, necessary, they understand that many accepted allopathic treatments may be harmful or ineffective in promoting health. Allopathic philosophy holds that disease is caused by external agents. According to this philosophy, a cure will result when offending agents are eliminated. In addition, the allopathic approach also tends to look at the symptom and the disease as one and the same, so that when the symptom has been eliminated, it is presumed that the disease is cured. The naturopath, however, sees a symptom as nothing more than a signal that something is wrong. According to naturopathic belief, when a symptom alone is eliminated, it is most likely being suppressed. Unless the original cause has also been eliminated, the symptom may return later in a chronic form.
Naturopaths Do
The origin of “education” was celebrated in the Latin phrase docendo discimus: “by teaching we learn.”
In teaching clients how to live a healthy, holistic lifestyle, traditional naturopaths follow these principles:
Do no harm.
Primum non nocere is part of the Hippocratic oath. naturopaths do not use harmful, artificial substances such as drugs and pharmaceuticals; nor do they use invasive and dangerous procedures, such as surgery.
Recognize the healing power of nature.
Naturopaths understand the body’s innate capacity for self-healing. They educate clients in creating external and internal environments conducive to healing.