Naturopathy is based on the belief that the body can heal itself and that disease is brought about by an imbalance. To achieve balance Naturopaths will take a very detailed history including diet. They may use a variety of means to achieve balance: fasting; adjustments to diets; physical treatments and exercises; hydrotherapy. As many naturopaths are also osteopaths they may use osteopathic treatments and manipulations. Naturopaths may also recommend nutritional supplements and herbal medicine.
1. Nutrition and Dietetics:
This includes the prescription of a balanced wholesome, natural diet, based on the principles advocated by naturopathic practitioners for nearly 100 years. Also specific, controlled diets may be given at the discretion of the practitioner to patients requiring a more rigid regime.
The controlled abstinence from food has been use therapeutically for over 2,000 years. It was advocated by Hippocrates as a treatment for many diseases, because it allowed the body to concentrate its resources on dealing with the disease rather than the processes of digestion. When used appropriately it can be very beneficial.
3. Structural adjustment:
By such methods as osteopathy, chiropractic, neuromuscular technique, postural re-education and remedial exercises, the naturopathic practitioner seeks to balance and integrate the spine, muscles, ligaments and joints of the whole body.
This is the use of water, both internally and externally in the form of baths, packs, compresses, sprays and douches. Hydrotherapy is of value in many conditions and rightly applied can give beneficial results in the treatment of both acute and long-standing conditions.
5. Healthy life-style:
This includes the general care of one's body, the use of moderate physical exercise, the cultivation of a positive approach to life and health, relaxation techniques, etc.