Helping You Understand the Naturopathy Movement


Everywhere you look these days you are confronted with articles and images of people trying to get healthier. It has become a wide spread movement because so many people are living unhealthy lifestyles. For some it means more advanced nutritional supplements to add to their diet. For others it may be herbal supplies to help with a chronic condition. Still others are turning to naturopathy as a means of leading a life that is not heavily dependent on pharmaceuticals and traditional medicines. You may have heard of homeopathy but the naturopathic lifestyle is a bit different.

Naturopath followers can credit John Scheel with the term naturopathy. He coined the term in 1895, in Europe, based on the Nature Cure Movement that was so popular at the time. It was not until many years later that the naturopathic movement was brought to the United States by Benedict Lust who had studied this lifestyle under Father Sebastian Kneipp. One of the core ideas is to free the body from harsh toxins such as drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

Lust believed that homeopathic practitioners had a very good premise about how to cure certain ailments but he also believed in hydrotherapy and herbal supplies to make remedies for certain ailments. He believed in the natural styles, or rather lifestyles, so much so that in 1901 he founded a school and then later a Naturopathic Society of America, which seventeen years later became the American Naturopathic Association.

It is said that with the help of a nutrition professional and the use of homeopathic cures, combined with limited surgical methods, anyone could heal themselves, yet it was not long before these ideas were challenged by medical doctors who did not believe in the naturopathic lifestyle or homeopathy. The ideas and oaths that practitioners were taking just did not sit well with the medical community.

The medical community and scientists believed, and still do, that there is more to healing the body than herbal remedies and inspiring self-healing. After the 1930s, there began to be a significant decline in the number of naturopathic physicians and practitioners. Schools offering degrees began to close. To this day there are only six accredited schools in the United States that offer a naturopathic education curriculum.

Will the naturopathy movement ever have a Renaissance period where people begin flocking to its way of thinking? Everything comes in cycles and just as homeopathy has experienced a resurgence, naturopathic medicine will as well. Most people want to be healthy and so following a naturopathic lifestyle is not that big of a leap. It does require some education but a trip to the bookstore can cure that ailment.

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