Originated from Germany at around 18th-19th century, naturopathy is medical system in which practitioners rely on one’s natural healing abilities and the changing of lifestyles to bring upon good health. Benjamin Lust, a German immigrant known as the father of naturopathy, introduced this discipline to the United States in 1902. In the same year, he founded the American School of Naturopathy. Addressing the cause of illness through the understanding of the body as a whole is a strong principle in naturopathy. Naturopathic practitioners often use a combination of techniques and therapies in their treatment, including the use of herbal medicine, vitamins and nutrition supplements, relaxation techniques and acupuncture and many others.
One may find that the naturopathic style of treatment is very similar to a family doctor. Naturopathic doctors may explore one’s mental, emotional and spiritual state as well as one’s diet, lifestyle and environment before they diagnose an illness. Naturopathy can be used to serve acute and chronic conditions from infections to lifelong illnesses. Because naturopathic doctors aim to treat, encourage and maintain good health, naturopathy is often a preferred choice for treating long-term illnesses. Common treatment methods practiced by naturopathic doctors include hydrotherapy (water therapy), detoxification, lifestyle and psychological counselling, nutritional counselling, homeopathic medicine, acupuncture, physical medicine and herbal medicine.