Naturopathy brings together various natural healing therapies such as homeopathic remedies, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, massage therapy and hydrotherapy for the treatment of all types of illness. Naturopathic physicians are considered the general practitioners of complementary medicine. They view the individual as an integral whole and the symptoms of disease as indicators of improper functioning and an unhealthy lifestyle. They encourage the individual to take an active part in the healing process through recommended adjustments in lifestyle, diet and exercise and in maintaining the body's natural state of balance.

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Benedict Lust, a German-born physician and disciple of Father Sebastion Kneipp. who developed the practice of water cures in Europe, introduced Kneipp's hydrotherapy techniques to the United States in 1892. A German homeopathic physician named John H. Sneel first used the term "Naturopathy" in the late 1800s to denote a form of health care that utilized natural therapies to treat the whole person. But in 1900, an American group of Kneipp practitioners decided to incorporate all of the natural healing practices of the day under one discipline and adopted the term naturopathy. They defined it as a separate discipline that in addition to hydrotherapy included botanical medicine, nutritional therapy, homeopathy, medical electricity (now bio-electric therapy), psychology and manual and manipulative therapies. 

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The naturopathic physician (N.D.) utilizes six basic principles of healing.

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Diagnosis begins with a lengthy physical exam including blood and urine tests. Extensive time is spent discussing present life style, attitudes, stresses and dietary habits to gain an understanding of all aspects of the patient's life. When appropriate, Naturopaths refer patients to a traditional physician who can admit them to hospitals, prescribe drugs and perform surgery. 

Diet and Treatment Recommendations:

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Extensive use of hydrotherapy is what really sets naturopathy apart from other natural complementary medical systems. In fact, naturopathy evolved out of hydrotherapy as practice in nineteenth-century Europe. Hydrotherapy is the use of water in any of its forms (hot, cold, ice, steam, etc.) for the maintenance of health or the treatment of disease. 

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* * Caution: Because heat treatments increase the heart rate, those with a heart condition or diabetes should consult a physician before using heat treatments. Heat treatments should not be used on infants and the elderly due to their extreme sensitivity to temperature. Pregnant women should also not use heat treatments. * *


Naturopathy is used in treating the following conditions:

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