“Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived over 2000 years ago, is one of the first recorded westerners to describe the concept of “the healing power of nature”. While this is an idea shared by cultures around the globe, dating back many more millennia, he is attributed to bringing the concept into “modern” medicine…….” This concept has remained foundationally at the core of global medicine and remains one of the central principles of naturopathic medicine.
In North America, naturopathic medicine traces its origins to Dr. Benedict Lust. He used the term “naturopathy” to describe a clinical practice, which integrated such natural healing methods as botanical medicine, homeopathy, nutritional therapy, manipulative therapy, acupuncture and lifestyle counselling.
The American School of Naturopathy was founded by Dr. Lust in New York and graduated its first class in 1902. Naturopathic practitioners formed the Naturopathic Society of America and established naturopathic colleges and large health centers throughout North America.
World War II saw the trust of health care being placed on newly introduced antibiotics, the growth of the pharmaceutical industries and surgical procedures. Most unfortunately, the traditional healing practices became less popular however, within the past 30 years, extraordinary increase in consumer demand for safe, effective and cost-effective natural health care has occurred. Naturopathic medicine has emerged as the health-care profession best suited to meet this demand. Although it almost disappeared in the mid-twentieth century because of the popularity of drugs and surgery, naturopathic medicine now offers safe, effective natural therapies as a vital part of the health-care systems of North America in the twenty-first century.
Naturopathic physicians are trained in the art and science of natural health care at accredited medical colleges. Integrative partnerships between conventional MDs and licensed NDs are becoming more available and sought after. This cooperation makes more effective therapies available to consumers and increases patient satisfaction in their relationships with their care providers.