According to the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine written by Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, “Naturopathic Medicine is a system of medicine that focuses on prevention and use of nontoxic, natural therapies.”
These natural therapies refer to, but are not limited to, proper diet and nutrition, exercise, nutritional supplements, herbology, homeopathy, and lifestyle modification and counseling.
The six principles on which Naturopathy is established are:
- First, do no harm…primum no nocere.
- Respect the “healing powers of nature”..vis medicatrix naturae. (naturae being feminine)
- Identify and treat the cause…tolle causam.
- Treat the whole person.
- The physician is teacher.
- Prevention is the best cure.
Medicine is returning to the grass roots it once followed. Today we are all becoming very aware that we are indeed interconnected and have multiple causes of ill-health that are being acknowledged instead of the traditional medical certainties of widely used in the past. This means the evolving norm will be the naturopathic/holistic view where the body, mind, emotions, social factors, and the environment all determine the health of the individual. We now know that “curing the patient” with drugs and surgery is possible without ever “healing the patient.”
The re-emerging Naturopathic Physician is an example of the true meaning of the word “doctor.” Doctor coming from the Latin “docere” which means “to teach.” By teaching the patient how to achieve and maintain good health, the Naturopath empowers their patients with the proper education and motivational tools that are needed to actively participate in their own healing and health maintenance.
The patient is changing from that of victim to that of empowered individual. By proper instruction, the patient learns how to achieve a state of balance that is conducive to disease prevention.
The function of the Naturopath augmenting the daily health of the individual…incorporated with the Traditional Allopathic Physician interfacing in the time of fulminate disease and trauma…can only lead to a system that maximizes the functioning of the entire medical system.
History of Naturopathy
The history of “natural medicine” begins with old culture wisdom found of Ayurveda in India, Taoism in China, and Hippocrates in Greece.
Dr. Benedict Lust, after being cured of TB by bathing in the Danube at a “water-cure” clinic in Europe, moved to the US in 1890. He brought these ancient theories to America and by 1902 had established the first “naturopathic college” in New York City.
His tenets of Naturopathic Medicine are contained in his book, The Principles, Aims, and Program of the Natural Cure.” The natural system for curing disease is based on a return to nature in regulating the diet, breathing, exercising, bathing, and the employment of various forces to eliminate the poisonous products in the system, and so raise the vitality of the patient to a proper standard of health…..
The Program of Naturopathy:
ELIMINATION OF EVIL HABITS, or the weeds of life, such as over eating, alcoholic drinks, drugs, the use of tea, coffee, and coca that contains poisons, meat eating, improper hours of living, waste of vital forces, lowered vitality, sexual and social aberrations, worry, etc.
CORRECTIVE HABITS. Correct breathing, correct exercise, right mental attitude. Moderation in the pursuit of health and wealth.
NEW PRINCIPLES OF LIVING.
Proper fasting, selection of food, hydropathy, light and air baths, mud baths, osteopathy, chiropractic and other forms of mechano-therapy, mineral salts obtained in organic form, electrotherapy, heliopathy, steam or Turkish baths, sitz baths, etc…”
John Kellogg was a physician, Seventh-Day Adventist, and vegetarian who ran a Sanitarium which utilized natural therapies. His brother built a factory to produce health foods and their ideas about healthy eating spawned the Kellogg cereal company we all have come to rely on. Their former employee was C.W.Post who also capitalized on natural eating habits.
Naturopathic Medicine flourished in the early 1900′s until the 1930′s. In the 1930′s drug companies realized the financial gains to be made with “medicines” and a trade off was under way…more effective therapies and subsidizing of medical schools for the allopathic physicians and political stances by allopaths to see to it that laws were passed restricting all other health systems that didn’t use pharmaceuticals.
Today, things are changing because the public is realizing that life-style plays an enormous part in chronic disease and the allopathic physician and his pharmaceutical closet has little if any effect on chronic disease. No where is this more obvious than with the over use of antibiotics and the resistance of bacteria to these drugs.
Louis Pasteur developed this germ theory that became the back bone of the allopathic profession. But during this same time period, Claude Bernard, a French scientist, developed the theory that the host’s internal environment was more important in determining disease than the germ. He felt that if the physician stressed making the patient’s “internal terrain an inhospitable place for disease to flourish,” the disease could never over take the host. Louis Pasteur later agreed that Bernard was right, but allopathic medicine had already settled on the germ theory to carry its cause and effect philosophy.
Allopathic vs Naturopathic Philosophies
When a person becomes sick, the allopath will diagnose a disease with a scientifically proved solution. That solution is applied to the disease and thus the patient should get well. To the naturopath, the patient’s health is failing and this less than healthy state has developed. By stimulating the patient’s immune system, cleansing their kidneys and/or liver, or normalizing their gut microflora the patient is brought back to health and the disease can no longer exist in the patient.
Naturopaths not only use life-style changes, diet, exercise, but also nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, physical medicine, counseling and other psychotherapies, and minor surgeries to “normalize the patient internal terrain.”
Strength of Naturopathy is Prevention
The need for Naturopathic Medicine should speak for itself:
Over one trillion dollars spent each year on “disease” care
This means over 15% of the Gross National Product is spent on disease care
Projected figures and population aging statistics project 100% of GNP will be spent on disease care in the year 2040
A 62% increase of traditional doctors from 1970 to 1992
Specialists rose from 32% in 1950 to 80% in 1990
Medical analysis estimate that 36% of physician visits, 56% surgeries, and 15% outpatient visits are unnecessary…with 50% of inpatient care not being medically indicated.
In a 10,000 patient population base, doubling the number of surgeons in this area DOUBLES the number of surgeries performed!
Sadly America out spends the rest of the world in “health” care but as a nation, we are not composed of healthy people!
Almost 50% of working-in-their-prime Americans have a serious chronic disease or are in poor health.
Virtually almost 100% of the elderly are affected by at least one chronic disease
Education / Licensing / Georgia Requirements
There are presently three accredited schools in the USA.
The National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, founded 1956.
Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, founded 1978.
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences in Tempe, Arizona, founded 1992.
U of Bridgeport in CT, founded 1997
There are also many Technical Training Programs throughout the USA that have offered ND training through home study and organized hands on practicums.
ND’s are currently licensed as primary health care practitioners in Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington. ND’s are also recognized throughout all of Canada. In the District of Columbia, ND’s must register in order to practice.
In all of these states, the ND’s, no matter their mode of training, must pass the NPLEX which is a comprehensive board exam in order to practice Naturopathy.
Presently in the state of Georgia there is no licensing board for Naturopaths. There was a board in the 1950′s but it was dissolved. Until the board is re-established in Georgia, it is our feeling that a ND practicing under the protection of a licensed medical physician offers the public the best of both medical modalities without exposing the public to questionable health care.
Doctor of the Future
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
With the Genome Project nearing completion at the beginning of the new millennium, the entire field of medicine will change so that the medicine of today will seem just as barbaric as the “blood letting” of the late 1800′s.
Joining in harmony with our Mother Earth will again become the rule not the exception. The mammoth “bigger than God” early 19th century undertakings like the Titanic, the Hoover Dam, and the Empire State building will take their place in history along with the cause and effect of 19th century medicine. We will learn to align our lives more with the earth.
We truly are living at an exciting time in the evolution of the worlds higher levels of consciousness.