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Woolwich Township
New Jersey 08085

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What is naturopathy?

Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is a system of medicine based on the healing power of nature. Naturopathy is a holistic system, striving to find the cause of disease by understanding the body, mind, and spirit of the patient. Most naturopathic veterinarians use a variety of therapies and techniques (such as nutrition, behavior change, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and acupuncture).

Naturopaths particularly focus on supporting the body’s own healing abilities and emphasize the prevention of disease.

CCAM naturopathy services include:

What is the history of naturopathy?

The modern form of naturopathy can be traced to 18th and 19th century natural healing systems. Such systems include hydrotherapy (water therapy), which was popular in Germany and nature cure, developed in Austria, based on the use of food, air, light, water, and herbs to treat illness.

Benjamin Lust, a German immigrant, first introduced naturopathy to the United States in 1902 when he founded the American School of Naturopathy. The school emphasized the use of natural cures, proper bowel habits, and good hygiene as the tools for health. This was the first time that principles of a healthy diet, like increasing fiber intake and reducing saturated fats, became popular.

In the mid 1920s to 1940, the use of naturopathic medicine declined. It was not until the 1960s that naturopathic-style holistic medicine became popular again. Today, naturopaths are licensed care providers in many states. They offer a variety of natural therapies, including homeopathy, vitamin and mineral supplements, Traditional Chinese Medicine, relaxation techniques, and herbal remedies.

What should I expect from a visit to a naturopath?

A visit to a naturopathic veterinarian will be similar to a visit to your family doctor. Your first visit may take more than one hour. The veterinarian will take a very thorough history, asking about your pet’s diet, lifestyle, stress, and environmental exposures. Next, the veterinarian will do a physical examination, which may require laboratory tests. In addition to conventional tests, veterinarians may use unique laboratory techniques, such as the Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA). This test allows naturopaths to examine your pet’s digestive process, as well as see which nutrients your body is absorbing, among other things.

Naturopathic veterinarians treat the whole person, which means they consider a variety of factors before they diagnose an illness. An veterinarian might look at your pet’s demeanor, diet, diet, pedigree or familial history, environment and lifestyle before making a diagnosis.

Some of the more common treatments used by a naturopath include:

  • Nutritional counseling
  • Herbal medicine
  • Homeopathic medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Physical medicine — This natural approach to healing involves using touch, hot and cold compresses, electric currents, and sound waves to manipulate the muscles, bones, and spine.

Naturopaths consider pet owners to be participants in their pet’s health care, so you may be asked to make lifestyle changes for your pet, such as changing sleeping, eating, and exercise habits.

What illnesses and conditions respond well to naturopathy?

Because naturopaths combine so many therapies, it is difficult to single out specific illnesses that respond well to naturopathy. Naturopaths treat both acute and chronic conditions. Naturopathic veterinarians treat the whole patient, rather than only treating a disease or its symptoms, aiming to help their patients maintain a balanced state of good health. Because of this holistic approach, naturopathy may be especially suited for treating chronic illnesses.


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