Sunday, September 09, 2012

Alternative Medicines: Naturopathy

Naturopathy, or Naturopathic Medicine, is a type of alternative medicine based on a belief in vital-ism. It posits that a special energy called vital energy or vital force guides bodily processes such as metabolism, reproduction, growth, and adaptation. Naturopathy favors a holistic approach with non-invasive treatment by encouraging minimal use of surgery and drugs.

The term "naturopathy" is derived from Greek and Latin, and literally translates as "nature disease".
Naturopathy comprises many different treatment modalities of varying degrees of acceptance by the conventional medical community; these treatments range from standard evidence-based treatments, to homeopathy and other practices sometimes characterized as pseudoscience.

The ideology and methodological underpinnings of naturopathy are in conflict with the paradigm of evidence-based medicine. Naturopathy focuses on naturally-occurring substances, minimally-invasive methods, and encouragement of natural healing. Naturopaths generally favor an intuitive and vitalistic conception of the body, and complete rejection of biomedicine and modern science is common. Prevention through stress reduction and a healthy diet and lifestyle is emphasized, and pharmaceutical drugs, ionizing radiation, and surgery are generally minimized. The tenet of naturopathic practice is self-described by six core values.

  1. Do no harm; provide the most effective health care available with the least risk to patients at all times.
  2. Recognize, respect and promote the self-healing power of nature inherent in each individual human being.
  3. Identify and remove the causes of illness, rather than eliminate or suppress symptoms.
  4. Educate, inspire rational hope and encourage self-responsibility for health.
  5. Treat each person by considering all individual health factors and influences.
  6. Emphasize the condition of health to promote well-being and to prevent diseases for the individual, each community and our world.

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