Naturopathy, a termed coined around 1901, is the combination of the nineteenth century European practice Nature Cure with the principles and concepts of homeopathy.
Nature Cure was a tried and true method of using various forms of water (hydrotherapy), fresh air, diet and hygienic principles formulated by several key figures in the 18th and 19th Centuries, such as Vincent Priessnitz, of Austria.
Naturopathic medicine is the present blend of naturopathy's principles and practices with modern scientific knowledge and formal graduate medical education.
The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine include:
( Click on each Principle for more )
- The The Healing Power of Nature or Vis Medicatrix Naturae Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself.
- First Do No Harm or Primum Non Nocere Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
- Identify and Treat the Cause or Tolle Causam Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause.
- Treat the Whole Person or Tolle Totum View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions.
- Prevention or Defendere Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.
- Physician as Teacher or Docere Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
More on Naturopathic Medicine
Historically, naturopathic principles have been in use for centuries. Hippocrates, the famous physician of the fifth century who originally defined the concept of temperament, also authored the idea that there is a vital force inherent in all living beings. This vital force, which naturopathic doctors call the “Vis” (short for Vis Medicatrix Naturae) is that capacity within each living being that promotes self-healing. The word "physician" itself was taken from the Greek root physis, meaning "nature".
Naturopathic Training is a comprehensive, four-year medical program, which requires a prerequisite bachelor's degree upon entry. The first two years cover the basic sciences, including Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Clinical and Physical Diagnosis and Laboratory Diagnosis. The following two years cover the clinical sciences, while incorporating several approaches to natural medicine such as Botanical Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, and Homeopathy. Courses combine the knowledge of Western science with the art of natural healing. See more at www.aanmc.org, the official website of all seven accredited naturopathic medical colleges in North America. To get an idea of the core curriculum Dr. Erin completed at the National College of Natural Medicine, her alma mater, go to: http://www.ncnm.edu/academics-at-ncnm/Programs_08-09.htm (See tabs at the bottom of the page for 4-yr ND program).
In Europe, naturopathic medicine has been very popular and continues to be highly accepted and recognized. Natural medicine, in the form of homeopathy and other techniques, is also highly regarded in Canada, India, South America, New Zealand as well as many other countries around the world. Today, various forms of natural medicine are growing in acceptance and recognition in the United States.