Monday, 26 August 2013

Naturopathy & Herbs


There was a time when Naturopathy was part of, adjunctive to and integrated with Osteopathy. For example the Naturopath Henry Lindlar’s influence on John Martin Littlejohn, who developed Osteopathy in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from its founder Andrew Still.
John Littlejohn when he returned to the UK, founded the British School of Osteopathy in the early twentieth century. Lindlar’s work also continued to influence John Wernham, founder of the Institute of Classical Osteopathy in Maidstone, UK.

The former British College of Naturopathy and Osteopathy in West Hampstead, London (now renamed the British College of Osteopathic Medicine, or BCOM) in its early decades maintained a tradition of the integration of naturopathy (diet, nutrition, fasting) with physical therapy (osteopathy) and had an integrated curriculum, where both disciplines were taught.  However the College gradually reduced the amount of Naturopathy taught over the years, and the BCOM now focuses entirely on teaching Osteopathic medicine.

Naturopathy integrates modern biomedical science with traditional and natural forms of medicine. The Naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate and strengthen the body’s own intrinsic healing power (vitalism) and treat the underlying causes of disease.  This principle is also the basic tenet of Osteopathic philosophy (from Andrew Still, and John Littlejohn) which views the body as a self-healing, self-repairing mechanism.

In Naturopathic philosophy, as in all traditional medicine, symptoms of disease are seen as warning signals of improper functioning of the body, and unfavourable lifestyle habits, and Naturopathic medicine emphasizes disease as a disharmony or process rather than exclusively as an outside entity.

Treating both chronic and acute conditions, Naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient — their physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environment and lifestyle factors. Again this philosophy of treating the ‘person’ the ‘individual’ not the disease (as modern pharmaceutical medicine tends to do) is the principle of both Osteopathy and Naturopathy.

Of course, there are times when pharmaceutical medication is definitely required, and no change should ever be made in your prescription medication without consulting your GP.  However Naturopathy and all it entails, is generally safe and the best results are usually from a wide range of approaches, including Osteopathy and physical therapy, diet, correct exercise, lifestyle changes, herbal medicine and nutritional supplements.

Both Naturopathy and Osteopathy attempt to stimulate the healing powers of the body and as far as possible enhance its own self-repair mechanisms and self-correction and healing, although this may need to include diet and lifestyle changes, remedial exercise, stretching, core-strength exercise, and so on.

Naturopathy could also be said to encompass a full range of natural therapies: botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, Osteopathy and Traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture.

Naturopathy as with Osteopathy treats the individual rather than diseases, as all traditional medicine treats the person rather than the ‘disease’ in the generic way that modern pharmaceutical medicine works (the same drug can be given to millions of people). When visiting a naturopath (osteopath, herbalist, acupuncturist) you benefit from the individual attention and a treatment plan uniquely tailored to your own requirements and needs.

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