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'Treat the earth well.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children'.
Native American proverb
There was a time historically when naturopathy was part of, and integrated with osteopathy. For example the naturopath doctor Henry Lindlar’s influence on John Martin Littlejohn (who developed osteopathy from its founder Andrew Still) and 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 taught both approaches. However, the naturopathy was gradually reduced over the years, and the BCOM now focuses on teaching osteopathic medicine.
Naturopathy integrates modern biomedical science with traditional and natural forms of medicine. The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body, strengthen the body’s own intrinsic healing powers (vitalism) and treat the underlying cause 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 process rather than as an entity.
Treating both acute and chronic 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, sometimes, pharmaceutical medication is required, and no change should ever be made in your prescription medication without consulting your GP also. 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 Osteopathy and Naturopathy 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 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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