Eating well, exercising and getting regular massages are just some of the ways naturopathy can help you keep healthy. Naturopathy is an alternative medicine that focuses on using the body’s natural ability to stay well. Instead of focusing on illness, the therapy seeks to promote wellness.
What is naturopathy?
The guiding philosophy of naturopathy is that our ability to heal and remain healthy can be supported through nutrition and healthy lifestyle changes. Popular naturopathic treatments include:
- nutrition advice
- exercise therapy
- stress management (yoga and meditation)
- massage therapy
Naturopathy is believed to be an effective treatment for a variety of health concerns, including back pain, fatigue, headache, menstrual cramps and skin conditions.
The six principles
Naturopathic medicine is traditionally based on six essential principles:
- nature can heal
- cause no harm
- identify and treat the cause, not the symptom
- educate and empower patients
- prevent illness
- respect all elements of human well-being.
Naturopathy: ongoing research
Researchers continue to study naturopathic methods and how effective they can be. The US National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine currently fund research on the use of naturopathic medicine. In particular, the research focuses on the effectiveness of naturopathy in treating diabetes, back pain and menopause-related symptoms.
A study of 69 adults experiencing lower back pain found that those who received naturopathy (in the form of acupuncture and breathing exercises) saw a greater improvement than those who received conventional physiotherapy.
Some studies have found that certain homeopathic treatments, often used in naturopathy, are effective in hay fever management, diarrhoea and vertigo.
One investigation looking at more than 100 people with rheumatoid arthritis found that exercising in warm water may help improve symptoms.