‘A holistic medical system that treats health conditions by utilizing what is believed to be the body’s innate ability to heal. Naturopathic physicians aid healing processes by incorporating a variety of natural methods based on the patient’s individual needs.’
Naturopathy is seen as a traditional form of medicine. It ranks fourth on the list of most used treatments for Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM). The WHO (World Health Organization) approves of naturopathy more and more which means that naturopathy is better integrated in regular medicine these days.
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body and treat the underlying cause of disease. Symptoms of disease are seen as warning signals of improper functioning of the body, and unfavorable lifestyle habits. Naturopathic medicine emphasizes disease as a process rather than as an entity.
The naturopathic physician treats both acute and chronic conditions, naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient – their physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environment and lifestyle factors. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation and traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, may also be used during treatments.
The naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice and participation in many federal health committee initiatives. In the Netherlands we should work harder on a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.