Natural health is defined as a self care method or system of natural therapies that restores and builds wellness and health by working with the natural healing powers of the human body. It is also known as naturopathy or Naturopathic medicine. It is a form of alternative medicine based on the belief in vitalism. It focuses on the holistic approach using non evasive treatments and encourages minimal use of drugs and surgery. Traditionally, it’s about the natural healing therapies of prevention and promoting a healthy lifestyle, physical exercises, stress management and correct nutrition. Arguments have been made about the validity and the philosophy of natural health because of its resurgence and popularity. Naturopathy follow certain parameters in treatment, prevention and promoting healthy lifestyle and have been proven to work.
Practicing natural health or naturopathy has nothing to do with religion, or with creation or other beliefs/ dimensions other than the health , wellness and healing of the human body. Naturopathy comprises of many different treatment methods of varying degrees or acceptance by the conventional medical field and medical community. But there are still skeptics in the field and to some, the ideology and methods used in naturopathy are in conflict with the established paradigm of EBM or evidence based medicine. The ideology of natural health focused on natural substances, encouragement of natural healing and minimizing any evasive medical treatment. Naturopaths in general, favors vitalistic conception of the body and total rejection of the established biomedicine and modern science. For naturopaths, prevention is the key to a total body wellness. Stress reduction and a healthy lifestyle are greatly promoted. Psychic healing and faith healing is not part of natural health. The tenet of the practice is described by six core values and stated as follows:
- Do no harm. Provide the most effective health care available with less risks to the patients at all times.
- Respect, recognize and promote the self healing power of of nature which is inherited to all individuals.
- Identify and remove the cause of the illness.
- Educate and inspire hope and encourage responsibility for health.
- Consider all the individual health factors and influences when treating each person.
- Emphasize the condition of health to promote well being and preventing diseases to each individual human being.
Traditional naturopaths do not diagnose or treat diseases but focuses on healing the whole body, provides general wellness and facilitates body healing. The naturopaths usually does not prescribe or engage in the use of drugs, potions, surgery or other natural approaches practiced in conventional medicine. Naturopaths does not also usually recommend vaccines and antibiotics. Methods used in natural health/naturopathy include acupuncture, hair analysis, live blood analysis, colonic enemas, botanical medicine, cranial osteopathy, applied Kinesiology and such. There are also therapies which use or exposure to natural elements, like sunshine, heat, cold, fresh air and steam. Physical medicine such as hydrotherapy, sports medicine and manipulative therapy is also used. Meditation, relaxation, Reflexology and other traditional Chinese medicine are also being sourced for natural health. There are many certified and licensed schools which teach natural health. Doctors practicing Naturopathic medicine physicians undergo basic training that includes medical diagnostic tests like medical imaging, blood tests, vitalism and hypnotherapy. In the United States, the physicians are represented by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education provides additional expertise and training which includes natural childbirth, intravenous therapy and minor surgery.
Traditional naturopaths are practitioners who have not graduated from accredited Naturopathic medical colleges and are not permitted to hold and ND or NMD titles. But as many patients see it, the alternative healing methods can be used alongside regular medical treatment. It can be a complementary form of therapy.