The approach of natural medicine relies on the minimal use of surgery and drugs, and comprises many varied treatments which include diet and lifestyle.
Naturopathy stems from Europe and has its roots in the Nature Cure Movement. In Scotland, 1880, Thomas Allinson started promoting ‘Hygienic Medicine’ which encompassed natural diet and exercise, and the avoidance of overwork and tobacco.
In 1895, the name Naturopathy was termed by John Scheel. It was later popularized by Benedict Lust who is known as the ‘father of US naturopathy’. Lust was himself schooled in hydrotherapy and other natural sciences. He purchased the name Naturopathy and used it to define a discipline rather than a method, and included techniques such as herbal medicine, homeopathy and hydrotherapy under this umbrella. He advocated giving up tea, coffee, and alcohol, and he explained the body in spiritual terms, describing it as being “absolute reliance upon the cosmic forces of man’s nature”.
Today it is practiced in countries across the world, yet each country attributes its own standards and regulations to its practice. The level of practice also differs amongst those who practice it, and there is no training in place which offers the same qualification that a medical doctor would get. However, in the US and Canada, one may attain the designation of ND, or Naturopathic Doctor after a four year program at an accredited Naturopathic Medical School.