WHAT IS A TRADITIONAL NATUROPATH? Although the term "Naturopathy" originated in the late 19th Century, the art can be traced back through Germany into Greece, to Hippocrates himself, and even beyond. There have always been people who understood that healing will occur naturally in the human body, if it is given what it truly needs, that is, proper diet, pure water, fresh air, sunlight, exercise, and rest. For these people, the emphasis has not been on finding disease and killing it, but rather on helping the body establish its own state of good health. Today, these people are known as Traditional Naturopaths.

While Traditional Naturopaths recognize that allopathic health care is, at times, necessary, they understand that many accepted allopathic treatments can be harmful. Allopathic philosophy holds that disease is caused by external agents, chiefly bacteria and viruses. According to this belief system, a cure will result when these offending agents are eliminated. In addition, allopathic belief also tends to look at the symptom and the disease as one in the same, so that when the symptom has been eliminated, it is presumed that the disease is "cured."

The Traditional Naturopath, however, sees a symptom as nothing more than a signal that something is wrong. According to Naturopathic belief, when a symptom alone is eliminated, it is most likely being suppressed. Unless the original cause has also been eliminated, the symptom may return later in a chronic form.

Although the term "Doctor" is generally held to mean "Medical Doctor," the practice of the Traditional Naturopath may be more true to the old meaning of that word. The origin of the word "doctor" was the Latin "docere," which meant "to teach." A Traditional Naturopath does exactly that, teaching skills that will carry clients into a healthy, strong, and independent future.

Basic Principles of Traditional Naturopathy: In helping their clients, Traditional Naturopaths follow a number of basic principles. Among them are:

- by Robert S. Harris, N.D., P.M.D., TFTdx (Naturopathic doctor/wellness consultant)

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