Naturopathy is a system of therapy that relies exclusively on the use of natural treatments. A variety of treatment options are available including homeopathy, herbalism, acupuncture and diet/lifestyle counselling. Naturopaths favour a holistic approach with non-invasive treatment and generally avoid the use of surgery and drugs. Using a range of alternative methods of diagnosis, a naturopath can often successfully pinpoint a predisposition in the body before the onset of acute disease, and treat the patient with specific therapies and changes in the patient’s lifestyle.
Naturopathic philosophy is based on a belief in vitalism and self-healing. The basic framework of naturopathy is philosophical rather than scientific. It involves the belief that a life force (traditional Chinese medicine’s “qi”) makes the body capable of healing itself if supported by good health practices including diet, exercise and natural remedies.