(Previously published on Atoot.com)

Naturopathy, the term coined by John Scheel, is an alternative therapeutic method which uses nature as a healing power. It applies a holistic approach and hence the cure is based upon body, mind and spirit. During the treatment an individual’s complete lifestyle is taken into consideration.

Based on natural resources, this treatment prefers the nominal use of surgery and medicines.  On the other hand, the means employed in it are based upon the ‘essential energy fields’ which are not yet proven. To strengthen these energy fields, Naturopathy makes use of:

  • Lifestyle counseling
  • Herbal medicines
  • Homeopathic medicines
  • Meditation
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Acupuncture

Apart from these methods, Nutritional and psychological counseling are also used. Physical medicine, electric currents and sound waves are used to heal illness of bones and muscles.

Naturopathy can heal a wide variety of diseases like Arthritis, ear infections, Heart diseases, Asthma and Hepatitis.

As with every other alternative form of treatment, Naturopathy is also criticized for its danger of wrong diagnosis of illness and its dependence on unproven energies. It is considered unscientific and unsustainable. Critics say that it is not an evidence based practice.

Despite its’ criticism, Naturopathy is popular in many countries. It is widely practiced in U.S.A and Canada. In India itself there are 11 colleges which offer a Bachelor’s degree in Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences. There are seven institutions in the US which offer a course in Naturopathy and other forms of practice like Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, Complementary Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Holistic Medicine, Homeopathy, and Osteopathy.