The term “Naturopathy” was first coined in 1885 by Dr. John Scheel, a German homeopath practicing the methods of Kneipp and Kuhn at his Badekur Sanitarium in New York. Benedict Lust purchased the name in 1901 to describe the eclectic practice of “nature doctors”. The Kneipp convention held in New York in 1901 marks the birth of naturopathy in America. At that time, Naturopathy embraced all known means of natural therapeutics, including diet, herbs, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, exercise, manipulative therapies, electrotherapy, psychological and spiritual counselling. Louisa Lust, a naturopath and the wife of Benedict Lust, provided much financial backing for the naturopathic profession in its early years. Dr. Henry Lindlahr and other significant naturopaths influenced the profession in the early years.
Naturopathy is defined as a scientific system of Natural Healing by the Naturopathic Doctor to diagnose, treat, prescribe, for any human health imbalance by use of natural methods or modalities such as food, herbs, natures remedies to restore the body to its natural normal state without the use of drugs, serums, injections, conconotions, major surgery. Naturopathy was defined by congress in 1931 (see attached). Naturopathic Medicine has not been defined. Dr Lust stood by these principals and was adamant about maintaining these standards to create distinction and exclusion of any and all allopathic practices. Originally, Dr Lust was pro legislative practices but urged standardization first. There was much debate over the standardization to include allopathic practices. Dr Lust was fundamentally opposed to such inclusion of allopathy inside of Naturopathic Practice. Hence, why he was opposed to the practice of Naturopathic Medicine and stood by the practice of Naturopathy.
It is understood that in Naturopathy the belief is that the body develops disease as a result of accumulation of toxicity based on unhealthy lifestyle habits, poor diet, improper care of the body, mental, and emotional abuses to the body as well as environmental exposures.. The body is always in a state of healing and can and will heal itself if given the right environment. It is determined that acute disease such as fevers, cold, inflammation, etc is determined as the body’s way to self initiate the healing process. Chronic disease is the continued suppression and the result of continued poor health. In Naturopathy, it is understood the body has a natural ability to heal itself but the person must take ultimate personal responsibility in doing so and contribute to the healing process. Thus the Naturopathic Doctor becomes a coach, a teacher, and a mentor in self healing for the individual.
Naturopathy is a non-medical healing art. It does not make use of drugs or operative surgery. It uses simple natural agencies such as air, sunshine, water, diet, heat, light, manipulation, mental, as well as emotional coaching through behavior modification. Naturopaths remove the cause of disease by cleansing the toxic wastes of the body once identified. It supplies nutrient deficiencies, builds vitality, improves circulation, normalizes mental and emotional states, while employing various modalities to restore and maintain health. Naturopathy works with nature and assists the body in the ability to heal itself. Naturopathy is considered curative as long as the person’s disease process has not taken over the balance of health within the body. Where disease process has overtaken the health it is recommended that a Naturopathic Doctor work integratively with an allopath to manage the disease. Naturopathic Doctors focus on the health of the body while allopaths study and balance disease processes within the body. Naturopathy is primarily preventative in nature while teaching and advocating strict adherence to laws of health, proper exercise, work, recreation, relatation, and similar matters. Naturopathy does not use anything harmful to treat the patient. Although Naturopathic methods are simple and harmless they require great skill to administer properly.
Most chemical substances used in both the practice of Allopathy and in Naturopathic Medicine are foreign to the body and can be highly poisonous unless careful doses are given. Naturopathic remedies are found in nature, foods and take part in the bodily functions of the body as nature intended. Naturopathic Doctors stress the importance of preventing sickness and disease. They teach their patients how to stay well and are able to facilitate prevention in sickness as well as disease through public health education.
Dr Lust formed several Naturopathic Doctors schools with a goal of standardizing the profession. There still holds to be true a group of Naturopathic Doctors with whom would like to uphold the standards laid out by Dr Lust. These are considered Naturopathic Doctors. These Doctors have completed standardized education of diadetic training. Traditional Naturopaths are another category of Naturopath. Traditional Naturopaths have varying educational backgrounds and standards. Many have completed certificate programs in Naturopathy and do not possess as extensive training as Naturopathic Doctors. A distinction must be made between the three various forms of Naturopathic Practitioners. Dr Lust, the original founder was adminestly opposed to the practice of Naturopathic Medicine and often referred to Naturopathic Medical Doctors as Pseudo Medical Men.
In the mid 1950s a branch of our ranks split off to create the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (established 1970) they wished to practice as primary care physicians against the will of our founder. They created what is now known as “Naturopathic Medicine” Being a hybrid of Naturopathy and Modern Medicine. Till this day we are not in accordance with their decision and object to any legislation that would disenfranchise the profession as a whole.