Naturopathy
Healing Power of Nature, Diet, Lifestyle Changes, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), Minimise Harm, Prevention is Best Cure, Treat Cause not Symptom, Holistic Healing (Treatment of Whole Person, Mind, Body and Environment), History


The word naturopathy comes from Greek and Latin and literally translates as "nature disease."

Naturopathy is a whole medical system that originated in Europe. It aims to support the body's ability to heal itself through the use of dietary and lifestyle changes together with CAM (complementary alternative medicine) therapies such as herbs, massage, and joint manipulation. The emphasis is on supporting health rather than combating disease.

Main Ideas

The practice of naturopathy is based on six key principles:

1. Promote the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae)
2. First do no harm. Minimise harmful side effects and do not suppress symptoms.
3. Treat the whole person. Practitioners believe a person's health is affected by many factors, such as physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social ones. Practitioners consider all these factors.
4. Treat the cause. Practitioners seek to identify and treat the causes of a disease or condition, rather than its symptoms. Symptoms are signs that the body is trying to fight disease, adapt to it, or recover from it.
5. Prevention is the best cure. Practitioners teach healthy ways of living that are most likely to prevent illness.
6. The physician is a teacher. Patients are educated to take responsibility for their own health.

Brief History

Naturopathic health care is founded on approaches that were popular in Europe, especially in Germany, in the 19th century.

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 tuberculosis, he was treated by a priest and healer in Germany named Sebastian Kneipp. Kneipp's treatment was based on:

* 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.

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/naturopathy/


Naturopathic Treatment for Ear Pain in Children

In the past 2 decades, there has been a substantial increase in the diagnosis of otitis media worldwide. In the United States, 93% of all children have had at least 1 episode of acute otitis media (AOM) by 7 years of age.

The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy and tolerability of naturopathic versus traditional treatment for the management of otalgia commonly associated with AOM in children.

The study showed each group had a statistically significant improvement in ear pain over the course of the 3 days. This suggests that in cases of ear pain caused by AOM in children in which active treatment, besides a simple 2- to 3-day waiting period, is needed, an herbal extract solution may be beneficial. Concomitant antibiotic treatment is apparently not contributory.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/111/5/e574


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