Naturopathy is a system of man building in harmony with the constructive principles of Nature on physical, mental, moral and spiritual planes of living. It has great health-promotion attributes, disease preventive and curative as well as restorative potential.
According to the manifesto of British Naturopathic Association, "Naturopathy is a system of treatment which recognizes the existence of the vital curative force within the body." It therefore, advocates aiding human system to remove the cause of disease i.e. toxins by expelling the unwanted and unused matters from human body for curing diseases.
Naturopathy is an art and science of healthy living and a drugless system of healing based on well founded philosophy. It has its own concept of health and disease and also principle of treatment. Naturopathy is a very old science. We can find a number of references in our Vedas and other ancient texts. The morbid matter theory, concept of vital force and other concepts upon which Naturopathy is based are already available in old texts.
The main principles of Naturopathy are as under:
1. All diseases, their cause and treatment are one. Except for traumatic and environmental conditions, the cause of all diseases is one i.e. accumulation of morbid matter in the body, and, their elimination from the body is the treatment.
2. The primary cause of disease is not bacteria or virus. Bacteria and virus enter and survive in the body only after the accumulation of morbid matter when a favourable atmosphere for their growth is established in body. Hence, the basic cause is morbid matter, not the bacteria. They are the secondary causes.
3. Acute diseases are self-healing effort of the body. Hence, they are our friends, not the enemy. Chronic diseases are outcome of wrong treatment and suppression of the acute diseases.
4. Nature is the greatest healer. Body has a capacity to prevent itself from disease and regain health if unhealthy.
5. In Naturopathy, patient is treated and not the disease.
6. Patients suffering from chronic ailments are also treated successfully in comparatively less time by Naturopathy.
7. After emerging, suppressed diseases can be cured by Naturopathy.
8. Naturopathy treats all the aspects like physical, mental, social and spiritual at the same time.
9. Naturopathy treats body as a whole instead of giving treatment to each organ separately.
10. Naturopathy does not use medicine. According to Naturopathy, “Food is Medicine”.
11. According to Gandhiji “Rama Nama (Mantra) is the best Natural Treatment", means doing prayer according to one's spiritual faith is an important part of treatment.
Naturopathy is a science of healthy living. It teaches us how we should live? What we should eat and how our daily routine should be? Naturopathy not only helps us in attaining freedom from disease but also helps in acquiring positive and vigorous health. Its main objective is to change the living habits of people and to teach them the healthy lifestyle. Different modalities of Naturopathy are very helpful in the fulfillment of this pursuit.
The human body has a remarkable recuperative power. It is composed of five great elements (Pancha Maha Bhutas), imbalance of these, creates diseases. Treatment of the diseases by these elements i.e. Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether is known as Naturopathy. The general treatment modalities and diagnostic methods employed in Naturopathy are as stated below
Here, it may also be mentioned that modern Naturopathy movement was started in Germany and other western countries with Water Cure (Hydrotherapy) therapy. Water Cure was synonymous with Nature
Cure in those early days. The credit of making Water Cure world famous goes to Vincent Priessnitz (1799-1851), who was a farmer. Later on, other personalities also made their contribution in this work. The name of Louis Kuhne needs special mention, who propounded the 'Principle of Unity of Disease and Treatment' and provided a theoretical base to this method. The book “New Science of Healing” written by him has been translated into several languages of the world.
As on today, Naturopathy is accepted as an independent system of treatment by all. Eleven colleges affiliated to Universities are imparting its five and a half years degree course of Bachelor of Naturopathy & Yogic Sciences (BNYS)
Herbal Oil Therapy
An ancient South Indian Oil Therapy. Provides relief to patients suffering from arthritis, gout and other orthopedic ailments. This therapy consists of several sessions of Abhyang oil Therapy. Medicated oil and oil healing catalytic agents are applied on the body by expert massagers.
Touch therapy, which relieves body pain and facilitates proper blood circulation. While this is not a substitute for medical cure, it does minimize the need for medication and surgery. Many ingredients are used in massages, such as oil, powder and sand.
Introduction: Massage occupies an important place in naturopathy. It improves blood circulation, relives pain, fatigue and tones up the muscles. It has many beneficial effects on different parts of the body. Massaging the skin opens the pores and helps in the removal of poisonous matter from the body. Massaging the abdomen kindles gastric fire, strengths the digestive system and increases the efficiency of the liver. Massaging the muscles removes tension, pain, and swelling and increases the blood circulation. Massage means scientific manipulations of the soft body tissue with hands.
Massage is the systematic manual application of pressure and movement of the soft tissue like muscles, ligaments, skin, tendons, and fascia (the membrane surrounding muscles and muscle groups. Massage encourages healing by promoting the flow of blood, reliving tension, stimulating nerves, stretching and loosening muscles and connective tissue to keep them elastic. Before physical exercise, massage helps in warming up. Massage after a workout has been shown to reduce the waste products that builds up in muscles after exercise. These products also cause cramps and discomfort. Massage, if given correctly, offers relief from muscle strain. This is because when muscle is massaged blood is expelled from that area and when pressure is removed, fresh newly oxygenated blood flow into the muscle thus improving its tone. Tension is lessened by slow rhythm tic strokes, allowing the recipient to relax. The lymphatic drainage is encouraged to become more efficient and thus the clearance of toxins from the tissues and the relief from swelling are activated. Friction and pressure improves circulation to the viscera and the skin develops a more glowing and healthy appearance.
• The pores of the skin are opened up, thus helping of the elimination of poisons from the body through perspiration.
• Massage reduces the tension of the muscles and relives muscular pain.
• The circulation of the blood in the part massaged speeds up, so that the part is supplied with more nutrients, and its healing powers increase.
• Massage relives tension of the nerves and soothes them.
• Massage the abdomen stimulates the digestive system, and promotes better elimination of wastes.
• Massage activates urinary system.
• Systematic massage reduces the burden on the heart, tones it and thus increases its efficiency. Massage is shown to promote relaxation and remove pain and anxiety in hospitalized cancer patients.
• Massage in premature infants was found to enhance weight gain and shorten their hospital stay.