Naturopathy is a system of medicine based on the concept of vis medicatrix nature, which translates the healing power of nature. It began in Europe in the 1880s, where it was termed as “The nature cure”. When it came to United States the turn of the century, it became known as naturopathy. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, naturopathy medicine was a well known discipline, practiced throughout the country by thousands of practitioners. Then came the advent of more “scientific medicine”. Antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals became the miracle drugs, and natural solutions were considered old fashioned.
Naturopathic medicine, with its gentle therapies and belief in the ability of the body to cure itself, went into decline. But it seems that the decline was only temporary, because by 1970, people began to reliaze that modern medicine didn’t have the cure for everything, certainly not chronic disease. Many people then decided was time to take back control of their own health care and to seek the advice of alternative medicine. The timing was perfect for the rebirth of naturopathy in this country. Naturopathic medical schools began reappearing and a new generation of naturopathis physicians began their training. And it is unique training: Not only are these doctors schooled in conventional medical sciences, but they are also trained in areas such as nutrition, botanical medicine, physical medicine and counseling. But be aware that are people who call themselves naturopaths who have only taken mail order classes or have very limited training. If you see a naturopathic physician, make sure that she or he has graduated from an accredited four year naturopathic medical school.
A visit to naturopathic physician may be a very different experience for you. You will asked extensive questions about your diet and your lifestyle. The state of your digestion will be questioned and addressed. And instead of leaving with prescriptions drugs, you will most likely find yourself being advised to change your diet and to take nutritional supplements.
Most naturopathic have very eclectic practices, using a variety of treatments, such as nutritions, botanical medicine, and manipulation. Other tend to specialize primarily in homeopathic medicine or Chinese medicine. These are areas of natural medicine that may also be practiced by other types of health care providers. You should know that there are choices of different medical system outside of standard of Western Medicine.