Alternative Health Information

Naturapathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is the practice of attempting to improve the health of patients through the application of natural remedies. Most naturopaths consider their care complementary, not supplementary, to conventional Medicine.

1 History of naturopathic medicine
2 Naturopathic physicians and traditional naturopaths
2.1 Naturopathic physicians
2.2 Traditional naturopaths
3 Basic tenets
3.1 "The healing power of nature"
3.2 "Identify and treat the cause"
3.3 "First do no harm"
3.4 "Treat the whole person"
3.5 "The physician as teacher"
3.6 "Prevention"
4 Regulation in North America
5 Regulation in the United Kingdom
6 Concern
7 See also
8 External links
8.1 Advocacy
8.2 Criticism
8.3 North American Schools
8.4 UK Schools

History of naturopathic medicine
The term naturopathy was coined before 1900, by Benedict Lust (pronounced loost, from the German). Lust had been schooled in hydrotherapy and other natural health practices in Germany by Father Sebastian Kneipp, who sent Lust to the United States to bring them Kneipp's methods. In 1905, Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York, the first naturopathic college in the United States. Lust took great strides in promoting the profession, culminating in passage of licensing laws in several states prior to 1935, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington and the existence of several naturopathic colleges.
Naturopathic medicine went into decline, along with most other natural health professions, after the 1930s, with the discovery of penicillin and advent of synthetic drugs such as antibiotics and corticosteroids in the post-war era, Lust's death, conflict between various schools of natural medicine (homeopathy, eclectics, physio-medicalism, herbalism, naturopathy, etc.), the rise of medical technology, and consolidation of political power in conventional medicine were all contributing factors. In 1910, when the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching published the Flexner Report which criticized many aspects of medical education in various institutions (natural and conventional), it was mostly seen as an attack on low-quality natural medicine education. It caused many such programs to shut down and contributed to the popularity of conventional medicine.
Naturopathic medicine never completely ceased to exist— as there were always a few states in which licensing laws existed, though at one point there were virtually no schools. One of the most visible steps towards the profession's modern renewal was the opening in 1956 of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. This was the first of the modern naturopathic medical schools offering four-year naturopathic medical training with the intention of integrating mainstream science into said practice.

Naturopathic physicians and traditional naturopaths
There are two groups calling themselves "naturopaths" who have recently been engaged in legal battles. The term when originally coined by Lust was to apply to those receiving an education in the basic medical sciences with an emphasis on natural therapies:
· Naturopathic physicians
· "Traditional" naturopaths

Naturopathic physicians
Naturopathic physicians are primary care physicians with training in conventional medical sciences, diagnosis and treatment, and natural therapeutics with licenses or registration granted by an individual state Naturopathic Board of Medical Examiners. They graduate from four-year nationally accred naturopathic medical graduate schools. Naturopathic physicians training with respect to modalities is different, with a focus on nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, physical manipulation, pharmacology, and minor surgery. Some naturopathic physicians have additional training in the following: natural childbirth, acupuncture, and Chinese medicine. These subspecialties often involve additional years of study. Naturopathic physicians are required to attend continuing education yearly in order to maintain and renew their license.
Naturopathic physicians are licensed to diagnose and treat disease in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, US Territories: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.
Naturopathic Physicians are working in cooperation with all parties, conventional and alternative, to provide patients with complete medical care. Naturopathic physicians are in a pivotal role with their training in both conventional and non-conventional treatment. Naturopathic physicians are able to identify and prescribe appropriate treatment including referral to conventional medical doctors.

Traditional naturopaths
The traditional naturopath practices in a complementary fashion by applying natural means in an attempt to improve the patient's health. Through application of good dietary and lifestyle practices, combined with the addition of modalities such as herbalism(also known as botanical medicine), bodywork(also known as physiotherapy, massage, physical medicine), spiritual and mental exercises, this type of naturopath claims that he/she "returns control of the patient's mind and body to (the patient). Naturopaths consider these practices as being complementary rather than alternative. Traditional naturopaths typically have correspondence-school training, and occasionally may participate in some type of apprenticeship program. They work with individuals who wish to try to restore their health by application of these methods. They are not legally licensed to practice in any state in the United States, except Minnesota and Rhode Island. Traditional naturopaths are not legally permitted to diagnose or treat diseases. For these, they rely on conventional medical doctors.

Basic tenets
Naturopathy is based on six tenets or principles [1][2]:
1. "The healing power of nature"
2. "Identify and treat the cause"
3. "First do no harm"
4. "Treat the whole person"
5. "The physician as teacher"
6. "Prevention"

"The healing power of nature"
The healing power of nature, has two aspects: one, that basically the body has the ability to heal itself and it is the naturopath's role to try to facilitate this natural process, and two that nature heals. This includes getting enough sleep, exercising, feeding the body nutritional food and, if needed, additional earth food such as herbs and algae which is a living food. Plants can and will gently move a body into health without the side effects of synthetic chemicals like many pharmaceuticals.

"Identify and treat the cause"
The underlying root causes of disease must be removed for complete healing to take place. These root causes can exist at many levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It is the naturopaths's role to identify this root cause, in addition to alleviate suffering by treating symptoms.

"First do no harm"
The process of healing includes the manifestations of symptoms, so that any therapy that interferes with this natural healing process by masking symptoms is considered suppressive and should be avoided. The natural life force of the individual should be supported to facilitate healing.

"Treat the whole person"
One of the biggest tenants of naturopathy is the belief that conventional medicine does not treat the "whole person", and that naturopathy goes beyond treatment of symptoms and treats the entire body, as well as the spirit and mind.

"The physician as teacher"
It is the role of the naturopath to educate an individual in their practices and encourage that individual to "take responsibility for their own health". This cooperative relationship between doctor and patient is essential to healing.

The ultimate goal of the naturopathic physician is prevention. The emphasis is on building health not fighting illness. This is done by fostering healthy lifestyles.

Regulation in North America
Jurisdictions that currently regulate naturopathic medicine include:
· US jurisdictions with full licensure: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Oregon, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Washington
· US state with registration for naturopathic physicians: Kansas
· US jurisdictions with two-tier licensure: Puerto Rico
· US states with legal basis for practice: Minnesota, Rhode Island
· US states which specifically prohibit the practice of naturopathy: Texas, Tennessee
· Canadian provinces with full licensure: British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan

Regulation in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, naturopathy as a profession is very closely aligned with osteopathy. There is no government sponsored regulation of the profession, the largest body, The General Council & Register of Naturopaths only recognises two courses in the UK, both being taught at osteopathic schools. Members of this register will either have completed a three or four year full time degree level course or be a healthcare professional (Medical Doctor, Osteopath, Chiropractor, Nurse) who has completed a two year post-graduate diploma. As the naturopathic profession has developed along different lines in the UK, naturopaths do not perform minor surgery or prescribing rights.

An increasing number of patients are turning to naturopathic physicians for what they perceive to be the failures of Western medicine. Medical doctors often cite the large differences between naturopathic practitioners and the lack of scientific documentation of safety and efficacy of their practices in order to justify limiting Naturopathic scope. Advocates claim that naturopathic practitioners find it difficult to obtain financing for research due to the lack of prior research in many areas. This is slowly changing as naturopathic physicians are developing research programs to help build up a foundation for their evidence based medicine.

See also
· Complementary and alternative medicine
· Osteopathy
· Homeopathy
· Medicine
· Metamorphic Technique

External links

· American Naturopathic Medical Association (traditional naturopath)
· American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (Naturopathic Physicians)
· Association of Naturopathic Practitioners
· Canadian Association of Naturopathic doctors
· What is Naturopathic Medicine? by Gary Piscopo, ND, LAc and Eric Yarnell, ND, RH
· Coalition for Natural Health

· A Close Look at Naturopathy by Stephen Barrett, M.D. – Quackwatch
· Naturopathy by Robert T. Carroll – The Skeptic's Dictionary
· The National Council Against Health Fraud

North American Schools
· National College of Naturopathic Medicine
· Bastyr University
· Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
· Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
· College of Naturopathic Medicine of University of Bridgeport
· Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
· Association of Accred Naturopathic Medical Colleges
· Naturopathic Schools

UK Schools
· College of Osteopaths
· British College of Osteopathic Medicine
· The College of Naturopathic Medicine


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