Naturopathy has different meanings to different people. In the old traditional sense, used up to and in the earlier half of the last century the term naturopathy was generally considered to cover healing systems based on fasting, resting, water baths, the ‘Natural Hygiene’ system, gentle massage and other similar therapies. This, as a total healing regime, had a relevance in the less polluted world of that time and it produced results. It was also appropriate in a time when, compared to our knowledge of to-day, there was limited knowledge of the biochemistry of the body and of foods, herbs and other remedies and when considerations of the electromagnetic fields and other subtle aspects of the body had not been researched as they have to-day. In some centres and in some countries this relatively limited meaning of the term ‘naturopathy’ is still used.
However in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and many parts of the United States, where modern naturopathy is making huge strides, is growing in acceptance and is producing significant health benefits, the term has grown to encompass a much larger view of health care. Recognition and understanding of the term are growing in the UK but only slowly and it is generally still necessary to explain the term when talking to people.
In more recent times and in general the term ‘Naturopathy’ has grown to include a much wider concept of health and healing. In Australia, for instance, where I trained, taught and practiced, from 1973 to 1996 the term Naturopathy included
* Nutrition with a full understanding of metabolic biochemistry and the biochemical interactions of nutrients and cellular metabolism
* Herbal medicine including studies and knowledge of the chemistry of the active ingredients and their roles in health and healing.
* Homoeopathy both classical and combinations, plus flower remedies, tissue salts and related substances
* Reflexology for both diagnosis and treatment
* Various diagnostic tools such as iridology, the use of dark field microscopy a range of blood tests and many others.
* Massage and related therapies
* Post-graduate training generally included Psychotherapy, various personal growth techniques, Neurolinguistic programming (NLP) and similar therapies.
The term ‘Complimentary and Alternative Medicine’ (CAM) is sometimes used interchangeably with the term ‘Naturopathy’. It is also used to indicate the possibility that naturopathy and other natural therapies can be used in combination with modern drug medicine as well as an alternative to it. Throughout this website the term ‘Naturopathy’ will be used as the umbrella term to cover classical naturopathy, CAM and a range of other ‘alternative’ or ‘natural’ therapies.
The selection of appropriate diets and supplements to achieve and maintain optimal health by providing the body with the nutrients it needs, in conjunction with the avoidance of harmful foods, food processing and toxins.
The use of medicinal herbs in the maintenance of health and the treatment of health problems
The use of mineral, plant and animal remedies in homoeopathic doses and according to homoeopathic criteria.
The use of modern, alternative therapies to help with emotional issues and to address the implications and ramifications of the mind-body interactions. Such therapies include NLP, EFT, personal growth techniques and more.