Naturopathic medicine

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Naturopathy (also known as naturopathic medicine or natural medicine) is an alternative medical system that focuses on natural remedies and the body's supposed vitalistic ability to heal and maintain itself.[1][2] The term "naturopathy" is derived from Greek and Latin translated as "nature disease".[3] Naturopathic philosophy favors a holistic approach and minimal use of surgery and drugs.

Modern naturopathy grew out of the Natural Cure movement of Europe.[4][5] The term was coined in 1895 by John Scheel and popularized by Benedict Lust,[6] the "father of U.S. naturopathy".[7] Beginning in the 1970s, there was a revival of interest in the United States and Canada in conjunction with the holistic health movement.[2][7]

Naturopathic practitioners are split into two groups, traditional naturopaths and naturopathic physicians.[3] Naturopathy comprises many different treatment modalities of varying degrees of acceptance by the medical community; these treatments range from standard evidence-based diet and lifestyle advice, to homeopathy and other practices often characterized as pseudoscience or quackery.[1][2][8][9][10]

Naturopathy is practiced in many countries, primarily the United States and Canada, and is subject to different standards of regulation and levels of acceptance. The scope of practice varies widely between jurisdictions, and naturopaths in unregulated jurisdictions may use the Naturopathic Doctor designation or other titles regardless of level of education.[11]

The philosophical and methodological underpinnings of naturopathy are sometimes in conflict with the paradigm of evidence-based medicine (EBM).[12] Naturopaths have opposed vaccination based in part on the early philosophies that shaped the profession.[13]


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