Naturopathy is an alternative treatment practice. It is a “non-invasive” – meaning a treatment which do not involve introduction of any instruments into the body, “self-healing” – a process by which the body repairs physical damages without the help of an outside agent. Naturopathy uses traditional medicines utilizing the traditional knowledge developed over generations within different societies that were practiced at a stage much before the modern medicines and treatment procedures came into practice.
Naturopathy has been mostly practiced by Asians and Africans for primary health protection and cure. The WHO defines traditional medicine as the “Sum total of the knowledge, skills and practices based on theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physician and mental illness”.
Naturopathy practitioners do not recommend the modern medical practices of testing, drugs, vaccinations and surgery. They believe in the natural healing. The practice is based on a belief in the body’s ability of self healing through vital energy. It is like a holistic approach. Naturopathy deals with stress reduction combining changes in diet and lifestyle.
The Naturopathy practitioners conduct a very lengthy procedure of interviewing the patient to get an idea of the lifestyle, medical history, emotions, physical nature and conducting physical examination. They administer treatment exposing the patient to natural elements like fresh air, sunshine, heat or cold. Strict diet is recommended (and to be followed) like vegetarian and whole food diet including fasting and keeping away from alcohol and other drugs during the treatment. Meditation, Relaxation techniques and Yoga are also included in the treatment for stress management. They use herbal medicines and herbal oil for oral and physical procedures. Many plants we find in our backyard or forests have high medicinal qualities which are effective for various kinds of diseases. They have very little side-effects compared to many modern medications and are useful for regaining body’s self-healing powers.
In Kerala, there are many Naturopathic Treatment Centres, which employ treatments based upon the “Pancha Bhootha” – the five elements with which a body is made upon like Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Sky (Ether). Treatment employing Mud Packs, Hydro-therapeutic methods in the form of bath etc., Breathing Exercises, Sun Bath, Fasting, Yoga, Acupressure, Acupuncture, Diet and Nutrition Plans, Magneto-therapy, Physiotherapy etc.
Mud Packs are useful for curing skin diseases like psoriasis, leucoderma, urticaria and similar skin allergies. Water/Hydrotherapy uses the therapeutic properties of water. It has great healing powers and changes its properties as temperature changes. The hydro-baths help in relieving localized pains and inflammations, congestive headaches, good for clearing numbness and tingling. Steam bath helps in decongestion of the respiratory tract, opens up skin pores, removes toxins by way of sweating. Breathing exercises as well as yoga therapy helps bringing calmness and relieves body, muscular and joint pains. Meditation brings in total relaxation of the body. When the body and mind are clear and calm, a number of diseases get cured automatically.
When something is safe and useful, why we go behind complex medications and treatment. I think there is no harm in trying it out.
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