Naturopathy is a nature based cure to help the regenerative body heal. In biology, we learn that organisms have abilities such as regeneration, renewal, restoration, and even tissue growth. They use these abilities to respond to the natural environment around them. Likewise, humans use the natural environment around them as an aid for bodily healing.
Health & Illness Perspective
The perspective of health varies within culture such as the western and eastern world (Ritter & Graham, 2016, pp. 32). People believe that the body is like a machine. When it breaks down, illness occurs. This is typically how the western world views the human body. In contrast, some people view health as a state of balance (pp. 32). This balance occurs between the spiritual, natural, and social environment. The eastern world typically believes this philosophy. “Health and illness serve to create a context of meaning within which the person can make sense of their body,” (pp. 32).
This type of medicine is a collaboration of traditional health practices that became popular in Europe in the 19th century (National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health, 2017). In the United States, naturopathic medicine is practiced by both certified and non-certified naturopathic physicians. Typically these doctors prescribe a holistic approach to heal the human body. For example, lifestyle maintenance and dietary changes (2017). They might prescribe herbs and natural supplements. Also, they may prescribe counseling and stress reduction (2017).
Education & Certification
These types of physicians are called naturopathic practitioners. Certified naturopathic practitioners will complete a four year degree at the graduate level accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (2017). Other traditional practitioners practice through non-accredited institutions. Further, some health care providers such as osteopathic physicians, nurse practitioners, and chiropractors have additional training in naturopathic medicine and hold a license (2017).
Naturopathy is not the only path to take for aiding the human body from illness. Some people prefer acute medical attention where a physician provides a biomedical approach. Most people in the United States are familiar with this type of approach. If you have been sick and sought a doctor’s help, then you have probably been prescribed pharmaceuticals, or biomedicine, to help cure your body. An example of this is the COVID vaccine. Nevertheless, both types of medicine and medical treatment are good paths to seek. The decision is up to you- your cultural and personal beliefs!
Author: Jamie Moore Sam Houston State University Pre-Nursing
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2013, August). Antioxidants: In Depth. NCCIH. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/antioxidants-in-depth
Ritter, L. A., & Graham, D. H. (2016). Multicultural Health (6th ed.) [E-book]. Jones & Bartlett Learning. https://www.chegg.com/reader/9781284021035/2/