What is Naturopathy?


Stephen Roigard

The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body and to treat the root cause of disease. For many patients, this difference in approach to health provides them with a new perspective and awareness. By addressing the root cause(s) of disease and through the appropriate use of natural therapies, many patients with chronic illness have found tremendous benefits.

Naturopathic medicine treats all forms of health concerns – from paediatric to geriatric, from irritating systems to chronic illness and from the physical to the psychological. It is the approach, philosophy and training of naturopaths that sets them apart from other forms of health care.

Brief History of Naturopathy

Naturopathy is a system of healthcare with a deep history of traditional philosophies and practices, supported by modern scientific research with medically trained practitioners and a breadth of natural treatment options to serve patients. It falls within the Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM) and Integrative Medicine (IM) industries.
Naturopathy is based on the principle of homeostasis – that the body can heal itself and will always strive towards good health. Naturopathic Medicine is far from a new medical paradigm. When we look to the father of all modern medicine, Hippocrates, we see all the makings of a modern naturopathic doctor. “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” is probably Hippocrates’ most famous adage, reminding us that proper nutrition in the right balance is the key to healing and building strong healthy bodies. More recently, naturopathy has been practiced and known in Germany for centuries. Many of the principles and philosophies of modern naturopathy originated in Germany and Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.

North America is now considered the home of modern naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine where qualified graduates are licensed Naturopathic Doctors. Most New Zealand naturopathic schools are government-accredited and naturopaths here are working hard toward regulation/licensure. It is imperative that when seeing a naturopath, you make sure they are registered with the Naturopaths and Medical Herbalists of New Zealand (NMHNZ) association to guarantee they have the correct scientific training and ongoing education to safely work with patients.

Maverick physician Dr. Henry Bieler, author of the bestselling Food is your Best Medicine, wrote:

As a practicing physician for over fifty years, I have reached three basic conclusions as to the cause and cure of disease:

  • The first is that the primary cause of disease is not germs.
  • The second conclusion is that in almost all cases the use of medications in treating patients is harmful. Pharmaceutical medicines often cause serious side effects and sometimes even create new diseases. The dubious benefits they afford the patient are at best temporary.
  • My third conclusion is that disease can be cured through the proper use of correct foods.