Naturopathy – An Overview And History

Naturopathy focuses on wellness and good health by providing holistic health care based on treatment methods from several traditional systems of medicine. Unlike conventional medicine, naturopathy favors the least invasive methods to treat symptoms and encourages minimal use of surgery and drugs. The core principle of naturopathy is to “honor the innate wisdom of body to heal”.

Naturopathy is practiced throughout the world in varying degrees. In the United States and Canada, naturopathy is subject to different standards of regulation and the acceptance is at varying levels. In Australia, naturopathy has no state licensure and is self-regulated. Naturopath in Adelaide is one of the well-known naturopaths who have been practicing in Adelaide, Australia for the last eight years. A practitioner in Australia can obtain insurance for professional indemnity by joining a professional association after having completed an accredited course and gaining professional certification.

History Of Naturopathy

The history of naturopathy dates back to ancient times, to as far back as 3000-10,00BC when Ayurveda was practiced in India. Ayurveda (ayur meaning life and veda meaning science) stressed on holistic healing comprising fasts, herbs, enemas, baths and cleansing diets. Interestingly, the principles adopted by Ayurveda have striking similarities to those adopted by Naturopath in Adelaide.

There is evidence of Shen Nong discovering Chinese herbalism in 2700 BC, while Ebers papyrus has records of Egyptian medical practices in 2600 BC.

However, the father of naturopathy is widely considered to be the Greek physician Hippocrates (468 – 377 BC). He recognized that disease was the result of the disturbance of the balance of harmony within the body. He emphasized that the physician should restore the balance with the help of the patient. Moreover, Hippocrates was the first physician to document medical experiences for future reference.

Traditional systems of medicine were practiced through the centuries in many countries with varying degrees of success. Naturopathy, as we understand it today, was pioneered in the early 19th century by the likes of Austrian Vincent Priessnitz. However, the term naturopathy was coined by John Scheel in 1895. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, a Germen priest by the name of Father Sebastian Kneipp practiced an assortment of therapies with a combination of herbal treatments and water cures, something very similar to what is adopted today by Naturopath in Adelaide. An American by the name of Benedict Lust was one of the key patients treated by Father Sebastian Kneipp. Lust, after returning to the United States, founded the American School of Naturopathy, which is the basis of all naturopathic treatment, as we understand it today.

Though there are skeptics of this form of healing who term naturopathy as lacking in scientific basis, there are plenty of faithful people who will swear by the positive effects of the holistic treatment. Naturopathy may not strictly abide by evidence-based medicine but if practitioners such as those at Naturopath in Adelaide have to his credit a good number of patients, who have been healed by naturopathy, then this science does deserve a relook and a wider scrutiny. It is possible that this system will have wider acceptance when the naturopathy cures have a higher level of training and when practitioners contribute more to research and modern scientific thought.

Written by Walker Wild
Naturopath in Adelaide, Peter the Naturopath, delivers a range of natural therapies across greater Adelaide. He has been practicing as a healer for more than eight years and specializes in herbal medicine remedies that avoid the use of any pharmaceutical drugs.