Drugless therapies: A brief introduction to naturopathy

Naturopathy is a drugless therapy that emphasizes on healthy living. Acupuncture, acupressure, colour therapy, mud baths and reflexology are a part of this.

Myupchar September 26, 2019 12:55:46 IST
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Drugless therapies: A brief introduction to naturopathy
  • Naturopathy is a drugless therapy that emphasizes on healthy living

  • It is based on the premise that we all are born healthy, and our body holds the treatment for all possible health problems

  • Naturopathy claims to have treatments for allergies, headaches, fertility, digestive problems, chronic pains and hormonal disbalances, among other ailments

Acupuncture, acupressure, colour therapy, mud baths and reflexology are all part of naturopathy - an ancient alternative drugless therapy that finds a mention in the Vedas.

Efforts are now on to conduct research into the efficacy of some of these alternative therapies and to standardize services.

Drugless therapies A brief introduction to naturopathy

Representational image. Image source: Getty Images.

In the context of these developments, here’s a quick look at what is naturopathy.

(Important: some naturopathy healers advise that people shun modern medicine. Neither Firstpost nor myUpchar condone this view.)

What is it

Naturopathy is a drugless therapy that emphasizes on healthy living. It is based on the premise that we all are born healthy, and our body holds the treatment for all possible health problems.

The term naturopathy comes from the Latin word “natura”, the root word for birth, and the Greek word “pathos”, the root word for suffering.

Naturopaths claim that naturopathy is an ancient art and science - there are several references to its tenets, such as morbid matter theory, vital force and other concepts, in the Vedas and other ancient texts.

Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”, was reportedly the first to advocate naturopathic medicines.

Key principles

Naturopathy has its own system of what constitutes disease, and the principles of treatment.

“Naturopathy believes that the body has its own healing power,” said Dr Salila Tiwari, a leading naturopath. Dr Tiwari explained that naturopathy works to strengthen the life force or vital energy of the body to fight illnesses and maintain health.

Naturopathy is based on the following six principles of healing:

  • Vis Medicatrix Naturae - The Healing Power of Nature: According to naturopathy, our body is inherently capable of establishing, maintaining and restoring our health. That the natural healing process of our body is intelligent and ordered - the life force heals the body in response to challenges and ailments. Instead of external remedies or medicines, the naturopath tries to facilitate this natural process of identifying and removing obstacles to health and recovery.
  • Tolle causam - Identify And Treat The Cause: Naturopathy is based on the principle that every disease has a cause and symptoms. That the expressions of a disease are the manifestations of its cause. The causes can be physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual. The naturopath aims to identify and treat the root cause of the disease along with its symptoms.
  • Primum Non Nocere - First Do No Harm: The body is capable of healing on its own. The symptoms and expressions of the disease are not the causes of disease; they are a manifestation of the healing power of nature. The naturopath should, hence, not try to suppress these symptoms as this against nature and causes more harm than benefits. They should try to treat the cause instead.
  • In Perturbto Animo Sicut In Corpore Sanitas Esse Non Potest - Treat The Whole Person: A healthy person enjoys a perfect harmony between the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and environmental elements of their life. Any disturbance in this complex matrix can cause diseases. The naturopath should, therefore, take into account all these aspects, and instead of treating any particular part of the body, try to treat the whole person.
  • Docere - The Physician As Teacher: It's not the naturopath who treats the patient. It is the patient who treats himself. The naturopath should educate the patient to understand their body and take responsibility for their health. The naturopath believes that his/her role is not limited to writing the prescription, they are like a teacher who should aim to inspire the patient towards healthy living.
  • Principiis Obsta: Sero Medicina Curator - Prevention: A naturopath should aim to prevent health problems. He/she should study all the factors of his patient’s health and should educate the patient about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to avoid any health complications in the future.

Is Naturopathy Your Cup of Tea

Naturopathy claims to have treatments for allergies, headaches, fertility, digestive problems, chronic pains and hormonal disbalances, among other ailments. Naturopaths say they can conduct small surgeries and are trained in natural birth.

However, there are very few studies in this field. Though some of the techniques go back millennia, it is also early days for research in this area. Hence, it is advisable to continue conventional treatments, even if you want to try naturopathy.

Additionally, if you are on allopathic medicines or if you have a chronic disease, it is wise to consult your doctor before trying naturopathy.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please watch our video on Introduction to Naturopathy.

Updated Date:

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