What is Naturopathy?

A revolution is taking place in health care. At the front of this revolution is naturopathic medicine, a system that focuses on promoting and maintaining health and wellness by the use of natural means and without the use of toxic therapies. Naturopathic doctors are trained specialists in a healing art, which uses non-invasive natural medicine. They are not medical doctors (M.D.s). Naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) are trained in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, counseling, dietary evaluations, nutrition, herbology, acupressure, homeopathy, iridology, exercise therapy, hydrotherapy, oxygen therapy and thermal therapy.

Naturopathic doctors personalize the healing modality to the needs of the individual with methods which are effective for both chronic and acute problems. Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all branches of medical science, referring individuals to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.

In practice, naturopathic doctors perform lifestyle analysis, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis and other evaluative procedures. They are trained to use a wide variety of natural methods, which involve the individual in the healing process. Naturopathy is based on a belief in the body's natural ability to heal itself when given an appropriate internal and external healing environment. Naturopaths are not involved in the practice of medicine and do not use drugs or pharmaceuticals, nor do they perform abortions or surgery. They have traditionally been referred to as "drugless doctors." In reality, naturopathy deals with wellness and relief from conditions, which are the result of stress whether from mental, nutritional, environmental or physical factors.

Naturopathy: A brief history

Dr. Benedict Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York City and graduated in its first class in 1902. A number of other schools were organized and by the 1930s there were more than 20 naturopathic colleges and over 10,000 practitioners. The allopathic medical schools, which had the backing of the pharmaceutical industry flourished with large endowments and the political clout, which comes with wealth. Due to lack of funding, naturopathic education began to decline and only recently has the disenchantment with pharmaceutically trained doctors led people to once again begin exploring and embracing the natural, simple, effective remedies found in naturopathy.

The Naturopathic Philosophy

The philosophy of naturopathic medicine is based on seven basic principles:

1. Do no harm

Primum non nocere (do no harm) is taken from the Hippocratic Oath. Certainly anybody who is sick does not need any therapy or treatment would harm him or her. As prescription medication has such a potential to make a well man sick, many wonder how it can be expected to make a sick man well. Traditional naturopathy embraces only therapies or procedures which are designed to enhance healing and produce wellness.

2. Recognize the healing power of nature

Vis medicatrix naturae means nature has healing powers. The human body is created with the capacity to heal itself and to maintain homeostasis (balance). There is a healing power in nature and this principal is the basis for all of naturopathy. Naturopathy is a system designed to work in harmony with nature, in the restoration and support for the inherent natural healing systems of the body.

3. Identify the cause

Tolle causam means identify and treat the cause. In allopathic medicine, the name of the disease is actually the name of the symptom in Greek. The term "arthritis," for example, is made up of two Greek roots "arthro" which means having to do with the joint and "itis" meaning pain or inflammation. Allopathic doctors seek to treat the joint pain by reducing the joint pain. This can be done with the use of painkillers, nerve blockers or any number of procedures which suppress the symptoms. Naturopaths are committed to removing the joint pain by finding and removing the cause. Perhaps this may prove to be calcium and/or other mineral deficiency caused by either a primary or secondary nutritional deficiency. Or perhaps the cause could be from an injury or possibly from an over acid condition in the body. For naturopaths, the correction of the cause is the most plausible way of eliminating the symptoms and restoring long-term health to the person.

4. Treat the whole person

Naturopathic doctors are aware that a person can have a physical or emotional illness. The chosen therapy is determined by what kind of problem the person is experiencing. You cannot be well or healthy if you have a psychological problem even if you appear perfectly fit. Naturopaths use various counseling, stress management and biofeedback techniques for those experiencing emotional or behavioral problems.

5. The physician is a teacher

Naturopaths are integrative healers, partnering with the client for a team approach in healing. The naturopathic philosophy places the responsibility for wellness with the individual. Man is the steward of his body and the doctor is the teacher or advisor to the individual on how to maintain health. One recognizes, for example, that a headache is not an aspirin deficiency, but rather the result of some imbalance within the body. Some principle of health has been violated and the body is responding with pain. Naturopaths should evaluate the connotation and advise or teach their clients what lifestyle; nutritional, emotional, physical or dietary changes should be made to alleviate the condition. The condition is alleviated by the clients desire to make those changes and not by some outside agency.

6. Prevent disease

Naturopathic physicians are preventive medicine specialists. Prevention of disease is accomplished through education and encouraging good life habits that support health and prevent disease.

7. Establish health and wellness

The primary goals of the naturopathic physician are to establish and maintain optimum health and to promote wellness. Health is the state of optimal well-being. The naturopathic physician strives to elevate the client's state of health and wellness by analyzing each aspect of the controllable factors which determine the state of health, those being diet, exercise, thinking, sleep and posture.

Conditions that have been helped through Naturopathic Care*

  • Depression, Anxiety, Panic
  • Fatigue, Insomnia
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Migraines, Headaches
  • Cognitive Decline
  • Cardiovascular
  • Blood Sugar Imbalances
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid Conditions
  • Adrenal Stress
  • Hormone Imbalances
  • Allergies
  • Psoriasis and Eczema
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Heavy Metal Toxicity
  • Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Sinusitis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Candidiasis/Yeast
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation and Diarrhea
  • Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn's
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Gas and Bloating
  • Surgical Preparation
  • Nutritional Cancer Support
*Sources:
Naturopathy Digest
Naturopathic News & Reviews
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

What to expect

Dr. Glenn Gero, a New Jersey naturopathic doctor, is committed to the holistic approach to health. He will gather a medical history, inquire about your diet and lifestyle, discuss any stress you are experiencing, administer various non-invasive tests designed to evaluate body conditions and advise you concerning your condition.

You will experience techniques, which are consistent with traditional naturopathy and its philosophy. These will enable your body to correct problems now and prevent them from occurring in the future.

In a society focused on an allopathic mindset, Dr. Gero can provide more natural options in the maintenance and the attainment of optimal health. These options, along with being non-invasive, are designed to assist the body so that it can heal itself. In actuality, naturopathic medicine is the traditional approach in the pursuit of good health.


Holistic Naturopathic Center

Holistic Medicine, Alternative Medicine, Holistic Health Care, Naturopathy in New Jersey
256 Colfax Avenue Clifton, NJ 07013 P: 973-471-5758 F: 973-471-1776 E: NJnaturaldoc@aol.com

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