Short History of Naturopathy

Naturopathy history. Tea and flowers with a cute little sign reading "Naturopathy"

Naturopathic medicine practices

Naturopathic medicine is a type of medicine that tries to enhance the health of the person by enabling the body to heal itself effectively, using natural remedies. It ought to be kept in mind that naturopathy is at the most of times used to complement, nor supplement conventional medicine. It is also used as a preventtive mecicine.

While it is a form of medicine which has been used for thousands of years before modern medicine as we know it came around, it took time before it got a name. Naturopathy was first heard talked about around 1900 by Benedict Lust. Schooled in hydrotherapy and other natural practices in Germanty, Lust was sent out to the United States to share the practices in which him and his father Sebastio Kneipp has actually found. Quickly there after in 1905, Lust was the creator and started of the American School of Naturopathy in new York, which was the very first naturopathic college in all of the United States.

In the 19th century, research by Antoine Bechamp and Claude Bernard supported the naturopathic perspective on health. They emphasized the significance of the body’s inner terrain, with Bernard identifying internal factors (alkalinity and negative electrical charge) and external factors (good nutrition and toxin elimination) as crucial for health. Even Rudolf Virchow, the father of pathology, expressed views aligning with naturopathy.

By the turn of the 20th century, a divide emerged between doctors promoting a natural approach to health and those adhering to the germ theory of disease. Naturopaths like Dr. Thomas Allinson advocated for health through lifestyle, while others, including Dr. Arbuthnot Lane, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, and Dr. John Tilden, emphasized the importance of gut health.

The rise of “miracle medicines,” antibiotics, and vaccines shifted public reliance away from naturopathy. Criticism from mainstream medicine, the Flexner Report of 1910, and the changing landscape of medical education contributed to naturopathy’s decline after World War II.

Although it was science that originally squashed naturopathy, it is science that has helped resurrect it. Vitamins were discovered by Eijkman and Hopkins in 1929 and since then the role of trace substances in clinical nutrition has been rigorously researched. There is more research into nutrition than any other area. Further discovery that enzymes were dependent upon essential nutrients provided naturopaths with the proof as to why organically grown, whole foods could have such a profound influence upon health.

In the 21st century, naturopathy is experiencing a resurgence as people grow disenchanted with modern medicine, which often focuses on treating symptoms rather than addressing the root causes of diseases. Increased media coverage emphasising the role of a healthy diet and lifestyle in promoting well-being has prompted individuals to take greater responsibility for their health, leading them to seek out naturopathic practitioners.

Contemporary naturopathy embraces scientific progress in modern medicine while staying true to its vitalistic approach. The skill of modern naturopathy lies in seamlessly integrating advancements in modern medicine with ancient traditions. Science is now validating what ancient Eastern medical practices have advocated and implemented for centuries.

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