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Naturopathy—also called naturopathic medicine—is a medical system that has evolved from a combination of traditional practices and health care approaches popular in Europe during the 19th century. It is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. It is based on the healing power of nature and it supports and stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself. 

People visit naturopathic practitioners for various health-related purposes, including primary care, overall well-being, and treatment of illnesses.

Naturopathic practitioners use many different treatment approaches. Examples include:

  • Dietary and lifestyle changes
  • Stress reduction
  • Herbs and other dietary supplements
  • Homeopathy
  • Manipulative therapies
  • Exercise therapy
  • Practitioner-guided detoxification
  • Psychotherapy and counseling.

Some practitioners use other methods as well or, if appropriate, may refer patients to conventional health care providers.

Many naturopaths are trained in aspects of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM is an ancient system of health care based on the concept of balanced qi (or chi, pronounced “chee”). TCM can include herbal and nutritional therapy, meditation, acupuncture, acupressure and massage. Over 5000 years ago, the ancient Chinese discovered a subtle energy in the body that can’t be seen, felt or found with the senses. Tracing and tapping meridians was used to improve physical and mental health

Meridians exist in pairs and ill health can develop when energy flow through the meridians becomes blocked. The meridian system differs from the circulatory system because it’s an energy medicine concept, and so can’t be seen with scans or imaging says Mani Norland, principal at the School of Health.

The term ‘meridian lines’ is used in a number of natural therapies. The lines are invisible lines that carry energy throughout the body. Along these lines are points called meridian points. When a person is in good health the lines will be open and clear of blockages. When a person is in bad health some of the lines become blocked.

There are 12 main meridian lines, six yang and six yin each yin forms a pair with its yang.

The six yang meridians are lung, heart, pericardium, triple warmer, small intestine, and huge intestine.

The six yin meridians are your spleen, kidney, liver, gallbladder, bladder, and stomach.

Naturopaths help you get to the root underlying causes of your health issues and guide you on the changes you need to make in order to get well. They may offer advice on dietary changes, lifestyle changes, and guidance on emotional wellbeing. They may be able to give you treatment such as osteopathy, naturopathic manipulation, acupuncture or massage if they are suitably trained. They may also prescribe natural remedies such as herbs, homeopathy or nutritional supplements.

The primary differences between naturopathic and conventional medicine are the philosophical approach and the therapies used. Naturopaths (NDs) help people by treating them as individuals and by addressing the physical, environmental, lifestyle, attitudinal, and emotional aspects of health. This allows naturopaths to find and treat the cause of the disease using a variety of therapies. Conventional doctors generally address and treat the symptoms of disease and use pharmaceutical therapies or surgery.

Source: School of Health  NCCIH GCRN



  1. Principles of Naturopathy believe in the 5 elements of nature – Earth, Sky, Fire, Water and Wind. These 5 elements form the contour of the naturopathy treatments as these are the source of energy and helps in the treatment. Naturopathy is a holistic health care system which has its roots deeply seated in the ancient cultural heritage of India. The body has natural abilities to resist diseases and to heal itself this very concept of naturopathy gains diction amidst the principle of naturopathy.


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