in Louisville, KY
Naturopathic Medicine, or
is a system of medicine that uses natural substances to treat the
patient and recognition that the patient's mental, emotional, and
physical states must all be treated for a lasting effect.
Though the term Naturopathy was coined in 1895, this type of medicine
had been practiced for hundreds, if not thousands of years prior. In
the mid and late 1800s in the United States, the standard medical
schools taught herbal, homeopathic, and nutritional medicine along with
surgery and other more heroic type medicines.
Gradually, the pharmaceutical direction to isolate components of the
herbs created more potent, but potentially more toxic drugs. Further,
with the advent of antibiotics, the long-term adverse consequences of
drugs was not understood and the slower, more gradual effects of
Naturopathic medicine almost pushed it into disuse in the early 1900s.
The current resurgence is due to a recognition of both the
accomplishments and the limitations of the current medical system and
the efficacy of Naturopathic medicine.
The foundation of
is the vitalistic philosophy of the "healing power of nature." This
means that within every human organism there is a healing energy, which
includes our immune system in the fuller sense of both the physical and
the psyche, which is responsible for our wellness and our ability to
heal and maintain health.
Following this first premise is the second, that the therapies used to
support and stimulate this healing power of nature must be in "the
gentlest, least invasive, most efficient manner possible".
The third Naturopathic
premise is "to assess and correct the
Naturopaths do not simply treat the manifestation of the disease but
rather search for the cause and correct it.
To accomplish these goals, Naturopathic medicine incorporates many
therapeutic modalities: herbal medicine, acupuncture meridian therapy,
homeopathy, nutrition, hydrotherapy, food, exercise therapy, physical
therapy, manipulation of the bony and soft tissues, lifestyle and
counseling. Additionally, some Naturopaths elect to continue their
education to receive a license to practice natural childbirth.