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Naturopathy - Ireland
What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy, or Naturopathic Medicine, is an approach to medicine that is based on the healing power of nature. Naturopathy is a holistic approach to healing that attempts to identify the source of disease by gaining an understanding of the body, mind, and spirit of the patient or client. In general, Naturopathic therapists employ a number of therapies and techniques including homeopathy, nutrition, herbal medicine, and acupuncture.
There are two main areas of focus in Naturopathy. 1) Supporting of the body's own inner healing abilities and 2) Enabling and empowering the client to make appropriate lifestyle changes to achieve the best possible health.
Generally a Naturopath practices in a freelance environment but may also practice in hospitals, spas, health care, administration, management in the retail industry. Naturopathic therapists may also work in a nutritional and family consultancy, as well as in a beauty clinics. Some Naturopaths specialisation in infertility problems, skin problems, the sports area, children, and the elderly.
The History of Naturopathy
Naturopathy is an ancient form of medicine. Its' principles were first used by the Hippocratic School of Medicine in about 400BC. The Greek philosopher Hippocrates believed in looking at patient in a holistic way when trying to identify the cause of disease and illness. He then applied the laws of nature to bring about a lasting cure.
Modern Naturopathy can be traced back to the 18th / 19th century natural healing systems. These systems include hydrotherapy that was popular in Germany and a nature cure that grew in Austria that was based on the use of food, air, light, water, and herbs to treat disease and illness. Benjamin Lust from Germany first introduced Naturopathy to the USA in the early 1900's when he established the American School of Naturopathy. Lust's school emphasised the use of natural cures, good bowel habits, and hygienic methods as the tools for good health.
Following a few decades of decline and neglect Naturopathy re-emerged in the 1960s as interest in the Naturopathic-style holistic medicine rose again. Today Naturopaths provide a variety of natural therapies, including homeopathy, vitamin and mineral supplements, traditional Chinese Medicine, relaxation techniques, and herbal remedies.
What Happens During a Naturopathy Treatment
Your first consultation with a Naturopath usually takes an hour or so. Your Naturopath will ask you some questions about your condition, your medical history, and your diet and lifestyle. The therapist will also ask about any conventional treatments that you may be taking. The Naturopath may then use Iridology (checking the iris of the eye), or tongue and nail diagnosis to get a better idea of your overall health. Depending on the findings of this initial examination the Naturopath may decide to conduct some pathology testing such as hair, stool, or blood analysis.
Following this initial assessment the Naturopathic therapist will outline a treatment plan that will deal with all of the areas of the clients life, giving the body with the best opportunity to heal itself. The therapy may include advice on diet, lifestyle, exercise, herbal medicine, homeopathic treatments, acupuncture, and other appropriate remedies. A Naturopath may also refer the client to other practitioners, such as an acupuncturist, as part of an integrated and holistic health care approach.
What Conditions can Naturopathy Treat
As Naturopaths combine with so many therapies it is not easy to single out any particular illnesses that respond well to Naturopathy.
Naturopaths can deal with both acute and chronic conditions from arthritis to ear infections and from hepatitis to asthma. Naturopathic therapists treat the whole person and not just the specific condition or its' symptoms.
The Naturopath aims to help their clients to maintain a balanced state of optimum health.
Because of this overall holistic approach Naturopathy is very well suited to the treatment of chronic illnesses.
Irish Representative Body for Naturopathy
The main representative body for Naturopathy in Ireland is the College of Naturopathic Medicine Ireland. Contact details are as follows:
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