The Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), Government of India, has declared 18th November as Naturopathy day in order to promote positive mental and physical health through drugless system of medicine, Naturopathy.
The drastic and alarming rise in the number of many preventable diseases, mostly the non-communicable diseases, owing to changes in sedentary lifestyle and wrong eating habits has shifted people’s awareness towards adopting natural and healthy method for better lifestyle. Naturopathy plays a crucial role in such scenario by preventing disease and promoting positive lifestyle quality. Naturopathy, a drugless system of medicine is cost effective which can be integrated with any other healthcare system as lifestyle intervention.
What is Naturopathy?
The term Naturopathy”” originates from “natura” (Latin root for birth) and “pathos” (the Greek root for suffering) to suggest “natural healing “.
Naturopathy is a system of man building in harmony with the constructive principles of Nature on physical, mental, moral, and spiritual planes of living.
Naturopathy or Naturopathic medicine is a drugless system of medicine which focuses on promotive, disease preventive and curative as well as restorative potential.
History of Naturopathy
The history of Naturopathy can be dated back to very ancient days in relation with the usage of traditional medicine for healing many ailments in healthcare system. Although the evolution and development of Naturopathic medicine has progressed very rapidly for better with modern scientific outlook and approach which is very essential in today’s context of our society yet one thing for sure that remains the same is the principles and philosophy of nature cure. Since time immemorial, the use of herbs for treating wounds and diseases has been known which is very much practised in many parts of the modern world even to this day. Diet has played the most important role in maintaining a positive mental and physical health in any given time. The use of acupuncture can be dated back to very ancient days which has shown to have a large impact in treating many acute and chronic illness even today. The relationship between nature and human can never be ignored as far as health and disease are concerned. Human living in accordance with the natural laws of nature has always been a blessing and health in abundance, however disobedience of natural laws or principles of nature has always brought disease and death ultimately.
Although the wide movement of naturopathy or nature cure in Europe started in the nineteenth century, in India the modern naturopathic medicine evolved largely through the influence of Gandhiji who was a stern believer and follower of Naturopathy. During 1934 to 1944 he used to stay at the Nature cure clinic of Dr. Dinshaw Mehta situated in Pune, Maharashtra. Later on, the government of India, in his memory established National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN) in 1986 at the place. This exemplary lifestyle based on nature cure or Naturopathy influenced many other National leaders to join this health movement. The names of Ex-Prime Minister Shri Morarji Desai, Ex-Governor of Gujarat Shri Shrimannarayanji, Ex-President Shri V.V.Giri, Acharya Vinoba Bhave and Shri Balkova Bhave need special mention in this regard.
Indian Naturopathy movement started mainly in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The Naturopaths who did foundation work in revival of Naturopathy in different States are Dr. Mahavir Prasad Poddar, Dr. Janaki Sharan Varma, Shri Sharan Prasad, Dr. Khushi Ram Dilkash, Dr. S.J. Singh, Dr. Hiralal, Dr. Vitthal Das Modi, Dr. Kulranjan Mukherjee, Dr. Sukhram Das, Dr.J.M. Jussawala.
As of today, Naturopathy is recognised and well accepted as an independent System of Medicine spearheaded by the Indian Naturopathy Organization / Indian Naturopathy And Yoga Graduates Members Association (INYGMA). It is one of the independent System of medicine under the AYUSH ministry (Indian system of medicine), Government of India. Presently there are Degree Colleges, Affiliated to Universities and are imparting its five and a half years degree course in Bachelor of Naturopathy & Yogic Sciences (BNYS). Post graduates programs, Doctor of medicine (MD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhDs) are offered in major Naturopathy institutions around the country.
The Indian Naturopathy And Yoga Graduates Association (INYGMA) is also a permanent member of the World Naturopathic Organization (WNO) which is affiliated to the World Health Organization.
Modalities of Naturopathy
Naturopathy believes that nature is the best healer and thus returning to nature is the only solution to any ailments or problems. The basic concept of the pathophysiology of disease and health is same with any system of medicine however the difference largely remains in the fact that Naturopathy focuses entirely on identifying and eliminating the root cause of diseases and not merely the symptomatic treatments. The whole of a body(person) is treated rather than a particular parts or disease taking no chances for toxins or diseases to reaccumulate. It may be noted that symptomatic treatments may bring relief for time being but it does not guarantee the total cure or eliminate the disease completely in a long run.
Naturopathy employs different modalities such as hydrotherapy (external and internal application of water at different forms i,e solid, liquid and gas), manipulative therapy, acupuncture, nutrition and dietics, fasting therapy, yoga therapy and physical rehabilitation therapies. The combination of all these selective natural therapies brings about safe and effective method to treat many acute and chronic ailments in the body without any or no side effects.
As the world battles with ample of metabolic disorders such as Diabetes, Thyroid disorders, Hypertensions, PCODs, Infertility, Insomnia, Cardiovascular disorders, Respiratory diseases, Dermatological diseases, Psychosomatic disorders and countless other acute and chronic ailments, Naturopathy has paved its way in preventing and reversing many of such diseases successfully.
The growth and demand of Naturopathy or the Naturopathic system of medicine has gained its momentum all over the world and particularly in India. Due to increasing number of side effects and the harms done by the high dosages of drugs, people’s attention towards safe and natural methods of treatment or medication (Naturopathic medicine) is growing very rapidly.
The progressive and positive results shown through evidence-based research and scientific medical journal publications in the field of naturopathy has gained more faith and trust from eminent medical research scholars, medical critics, experts and the patients all around the world.
Dr. Tokika Yepthomi
Disclaimer: All information, data and material has been sourced from multiple authors and is for general information and educational purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your treating doctor.
The views and nutritional advice expressed are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.