(Last Updated on : 21/11/2013)
Naturopathy, though, is considered to be of a very recent origin but it involves ancient methods of nature cure for several diseases. Naturopathy is a constructive method of treatment which aims at removing the basic cause of disease through the rational use of the elements freely available in nature. It was practiced in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, strongly advocated it. There are references in India's ancient sacred books about the widespread use of nature's excellent healing agents such as air, earth, water and sun. It is not only a system of healing, but also a way of life, in tune with the internal vital forces or natural elements comprising the human body. It is a complete revolution in the art and science of living.
Naturopathy is based on the realisation that man is born healthy and strong and that he can stay as such as living in accord with the laws of nature. Even if born with some inherited affliction, the individual can get rid of it by putting to the best use the natural agents of healing. Fresh air, sunshine, a proper diet, exercise, scientific relaxation, constructive thinking and the right mental attitude, along with prayer and meditation all play their part in keeping a sound mind in a sound body. Nature cure believes that disease is an unusual condition of the body resulting from the defiance of the natural laws. Every such violation has repercussions on the human system in the shape of lowered vitality, irregularities of the blood and lymph and the accumulation of waste matter and toxins. Thus, through a faulty diet it is not the digestive system alone which is adversely affected. When toxins accumulate, other organs such as the bowels, kidneys, skin and lungs are overworked and cannot get rid of these harmful substances as quickly as they are produced. Besides this, mental and emotional disturbances cause imbalances of the vital electric field within which cell metabolism takes place, producing toxins.
The first and most basic principle of naturopathy is that all forms of disease are due to the same cause, namely, the accumulations of waste materials and bodily refuse in the system. These waste materials in the healthy individual are detached from the system through the organs of elimination. But in the diseased person, they are steadily piling up in the body through years of defective habits of living such as wrong feeding, improper care of the body and habits contributing to enervation and nervous exhaustion such as worry, overwork and excesses of all kinds. It follows from this basic principle that the only way to cure disease is to employ methods which will enable the system to throw off these toxic accumulations. The second basic principle of nature cure is that all acute diseases such as fever
, colds, inflammations, digestive disturbances and skin eruptions are nothing more than self-initiated efforts on the part of the body to throw off the accumulated waste materials and that all chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes
, rheumatism, asthma
, kidney disorders, are the results of continued suppression of the acute diseases through harmful methods such as drugs, vaccines, narcotics and gland extracts. The third principle of nature cure is that the body contains an elaborate healing mechanism which has the power to bring about a return to normal condition of health, provided right methods are employed to enable it to do so. In other words, the power to cure disease lies within the body itself and not in the hands of the doctor.
To cure disease in Naturopathy, the first and foremost requirement is to regulate the diet. To get rid of accumulated toxins and restore the equilibrium of the system, it is desirable to completely exclude acid forming foods, including proteins, starches and fats, for a week or more and to confine the diet to fresh fruits which will disinfect the stomach and alimentary canal. If the body is overloaded with morbid matter, as in acute disease, a complete fast for a few days may be necessary for the elimination of toxins. Fruit juice may, however, be taken during a fast. Alkaline foods such as raw vegetables and sprouted whole grain cereals may be added after a week of a fruits-only diet.
In general, naturopathy investigates scientifically all the methods and procedures which are related to the improvement of ills and the maintenance of sound health. Naturopathy prohibits the use of poisonous drugs, serums, invasive surgery, x-ray and radiation for remedial purposes.