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a drugless system of healing by the use of physical methods, such as light, air, or water.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


A system of therapeutics in which neither surgical nor medicinal agents are used; reliance is placed only on natural (that is, nonmedicinal) forces.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n. pl. naturopa·thies
A system of therapy that avoids drugs and surgery and relies on natural remedies, such as diet, exercise, and massage, to treat and prevent illness.

na′tur·o·path′ (nā′chər-ə-păth′, nə-cho͝or′-) n.
na′tur·o·path′ic (nā′chər-ə-păth′ĭk, nə-cho͝or′-) adj.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


A healing philosophy founded in the US in 1902 by Benedict Lust, which attributes disease to a violation of natural laws and uses the forces of nature as therapeutic modalities. Naturopaths believe that disease is caused by the body’s attempt to purify itself, and treatment requires that the body’s vital force be enhanced by ridding the body of toxins. Naturopathy encompasses a gamut of alternative therapies, and is not bound by any particular orthodoxy; modalities used in naturopathy include “natural food” diets, vitamins, herbs, teas, tissue mineral salts, live cell therapies, manipulation, massage, use of natural forces (i.e., earth, wind, fire, light, heat, cold, air; referred to by some as physiotherapy), exercise, acupressure, acupuncture, auricular acupuncture, autogenic training, biofeedback training, Chinese herbal medicine, chiropractic, herbal remedies, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, jin shin do, Jungian psychotherapy, massage therapy, minor surgery, moxibustion and cupping, ortho-bionomy, osteopathy, reflexology, tui na and other natural modalities.

Some naturopaths may believe that the treatment of virtually all diseases is within their scope of practice, since their role is to free the body of toxins (e.g., conventional drugs, food preservatives, pesticides etc.) and allow it to heal itself; anecdotal reports suggest that naturopathy may be effective in treating abscesses, acidity, acne, addiction disorders (e.g., alcoholism, smoking), adenoids, anaemia, angina pectoris, anorexia, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bites and stings, blisters, bronchitis, bruises, bunions, burns, bursitis, candidiasis, cataracts, chickenpox, chronic fatigue syndrome, circulatory defects, the common cold, conjunctivitis, corns, cough, cramps, cystitis, dandruff, depression, eczema, emphysema, eyestrain, fainting, fatigue, fever, fissures, flatulence, flu, fluid retention, food poisoning, frozen shoulder, gallstones, GI problems (e.g.,anal changes, gastritis, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea and irritable bowl syndrome), gout, halitosis, hangover, hay fever, headaches, haemorrhoids, herpes (genital and oral), hives, hypertension, hypoglycaemia, hypotension, hypothermia, infertility, insomnia, itching, laryngitis, low back pain, measles, menopausal disorders, menstrual defects, migraines, mineral deficiencies, mood swings, morning sickness, mumps, muscle weakness, neuralgia, neurologic complaints, obesity, osteoporosis, panic attacks, parasites, periodontal disease, phobias, postpartum depression, premenstrual syndrome, prostate disease, rheumatic disease, psychosomatic disease, sciatica, seizures, sexual problems, shortness of breath, sinusitis, sleep disorders, sports injuries, stasis (decubitus) and gastric ulcers, stress, tension, tics, tinnitus, urinary incontinence, varicose veins, vertigo, warts, wheezing, whooping cough and other conditions.

Naturopathy’s six principles 
• Do no harm (primum non nocere); 
• Prevent rather than cure;
• Nature has innate healing powers (vis medicatrix naturae); 
• Holistic approach (the “whole person” is treated);
• Treat the cause of disease, not its symptoms (tolle causum); 
• Teach prevention (docere) and the patient learns prevention.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


Natural medicine, natural therapeutics, naturopathic medicine, naturopathic therapy, naturology Alternative medicine A healing philosophy that attributes disease to a violation of natural laws, and uses the forces of nature as therapeutic modalities. See Alternative medicine; Homeopathy.
Naturopathy's six principles
First, do no harmprimum non nocere
Prevent rather than cure
Nature has innate healing powersvis medicatrix naturae
Holistic approach–the 'whole person' is treated
Treat cause of disease, not symptoms–tolle causum
Teach prevention
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A system of therapeutics that relies on natural (nonmedicinal) forces (e.g., diet, exercise, and massage). Focus is on preventing disease and restoring function.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


A system of folk medicine that claims that all disease can be cured by restriction to a largely vegetarian diet free from all contaminants and drugs. Such a regimen, if possible, might well promote health but there are many causes of disease other than dietary and many environmental hazards are unavoidable.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Thirty out of the 43 instructors (70%) reported using videos to teach prevention skills.
They also reported that many teachers were reluctant to teach prevention programs with a high degree of fidelity because they did not "fit" with their teaching style.
Due to the mixed results of outcome studies, further research is needed to determine what methods would be most effective for teaching parents to teach prevention skills and which methods parents should use when presenting the prevention curricula to their children.

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