What is naturopathy ?
Naturopathy is an alternative medical practice that aims to maintain and improve health using natural methods. Naturopaths use approaches such as diet, exercise, herbs, relaxation techniques and other natural methods to treat disease and improve health. Naturopathy is often referred to as a holistic approach to health, as it takes into account the whole person, including emotions, lifestyle and environment, to develop an appropriate treatment plan. Although naturopathy is becoming increasingly popular, it is often controversial due to the lack of scientific evidence for its effectiveness in treating human disease.
Naturopathy is a traditional medicine recognized by the WHO (World Health Organization) in 2001 that uses all the means that nature provides to maintain an optimal state of health. It takes into consideration the human being as a whole, both on the body and on the mind, in order to fulfill its double mission :
- To treat a disease or a health problem already present.
- To prevent health problems by acting on the still reversible imbalances of a disease before it settles permanently in our body.
Naturopathy aims to use natural methods to train and stimulate the body to heal itself.
The main principles of naturopathy
There are six main principles of naturopathy :
- The principle of holism : naturopathy considers the individual as a whole, taking into account his or her emotions, lifestyle and environment to establish a suitable treatment plan.
- The principle of healing power : Naturopathy focuses on the body's natural healing processes to treat disease.
- The principle of prevention : Naturopathy aims to prevent disease by encouraging a healthy diet, regular physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.
- The principle of biotherapy : Naturopathy uses natural methods such as herbs and food supplements to treat disease.
- The principle of education : Naturopathy aims to educate individuals on the importance of healthy eating and living to maintain their health.
- The principle of cooperation : Naturopathy encourages collaboration between naturopaths and traditional health care professionals to provide the best possible treatment plan for patients.
These principles all focus on using natural methods to treat disease, prevent health problems and promote healthy living. Naturopathy is a holistic approach to health that looks at the individual as a whole in order to establish a proper treatment plan, with an emphasis on prevention rather than treatment of symptoms. The naturopathic doctor's role is to teach the principles of naturopathy to patients to help them take care of their health in a natural way.
The main techniques of naturopathy
Naturopathy has many resources to act naturally on the state of health. It has 5 essential care techniques that can be combined to obtain a synergy of action and a personalized response according to the problem and the patient :
Nutrition is a therapeutic technique that aims to "treat through food", which corresponds to nutritherapy. It aims to establish a balanced diet adapted to the needs of the patient, adding food supplements if necessary. Naturopaths can recommend dietary changes to treat health problems and prevent disease. This may include advice on what types of foods to eat, how much to eat and what cooking methods to use.
- Physical activity
The naturopathic doctor can also suggest measures to help the patient stay healthy by maintaining physical fitness. Regular exercise can improve overall health and prevent chronic disease. Naturopaths can recommend exercise programs that are tailored to the needs and abilities of each patient.
Also called "Herbal Medicine", herbal medicine is a discipline of naturopathy that involves the use of medicinal plants to treat or relieve ailments. Herbs can be used to treat illness and improve health. Naturopaths may recommend herbs to treat conditions such as digestive disorders, headaches and sleep disorders.
To learn more, check out our article, "Herbal Medicine : what is it ?".
Aromatherapy is used to extract the aromatic compounds from plants and capture them in an oil by distillation. It can prevent and relieve certain disorders and provide well-being and soothe the user.
To learn more, see our article : "Aromatherapy : what is it ?".
Homeopathy is an alternative medicine based on the principle of "healing by the similar" which means that a high dose of an active substance that would cause symptoms in a healthy person could cure those same symptoms in a sick person with a small amount of administration.
To learn more about it, see our article : "Homeopathy : what is it ?".
The benefits of naturopathy
It is true that naturopathy can be used to treat a wide range of health conditions, and it can often be used to complement traditional medicine. Naturopaths can recommend lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise and relaxation techniques to treat conditions such as weight gain, osteoarthritis, respiratory problems, stress, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, tobacco addiction and premenstrual cycle symptoms. However, it is important to note that the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of naturopathy in treating these conditions varies from study to study and from condition to condition. It is therefore important to consult a physician before starting a naturopathic treatment and to follow the naturopath's instructions to avoid any health risks.