What Is A Naturopath?

How do I define a Naturopath? (Go to my youtube video where I discuss my personal definition of what I do).

Short answer according to an online dictionary:

na•tur•op•a•thy   /ˌneɪtʃəˈrɒpəθi, ˌnætʃə-/ Show Spelled

[ney-chuh-rop-uh-thee, nach-uh-] –noun

a system or method of treating disease that employs no surgery or synthetic drugs but uses special diets, herbs, vitamins, massage, etc., to assist the natural healing processes.

A Naturopath treats disease differently from an Osteopath or an Allopath.

So what are those?

An Osteopath is someone who practices primary care and who was trained in osteopathic manipulation. At this point, many never use their manipulation training but they maintain a separate identity from the Allopaths. Most Osteopaths consider primary care to be very important. Beyond that, Osteopathy has been absorbed into Allopathy. Less than a third of Osteopaths could give an example of any philosophical or physical difference in their practices from their Allopathic colleagues. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_MD_and_DO_in_the_United_States)

An Allopath is a conventional M.D. who treats using primarily drugs and surgery. A number of sites claim that this is a derogatory term, but it is used both by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the national student association to differentiate M.D.s from others. Allopaths do not share a common philosophy, and, despite the common myth, do not all even take the same Hippocratic Oath. There is a call for M.D.s to generate a common Hippocratic Oath, but it is unlikely to take hold.

Naturopathy is fortunate in that its practitioners agree on a philosophy of treatment. While Naturopathic treatment is extremely diverse, all Naturopaths should adhere to the following philosophy of treatment.

From The Southwest Naturopathic School:

The six principles that guide the therapeutic methods and modalities of Naturopathic medicine include:

First Do No Harm – primum non nocere
Naturopathic medicine uses therapies that are safe and effective.

The Healing Power of Nature – vis medicatrix naturae
The human body possesses the inherent ability to restore health. The physician’s role is to facilitate this process with the aid of natural, nontoxic therapies.

Discover and Treat the Cause, Not Just the Effect – tolle causam
Physicians seek and treat the underlying cause of a disease. Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body’s natural attempt to heal. The origin of disease is removed or treated so the patient can recover.

Treat the Whole Person – tolle totum
The multiple factors in health and disease are considered while treating the whole person. Physicians provide flexible treatment programs to meet individual health care needs.

The Physician is a Teacher – docere
The physician’s major role is to educate, empower, and motivate patients to take responsibility for their own health. Creating a healthy, cooperative relationship with the patient has a strong therapeutic value.

Prevention is the best “cure” – praevenire
Naturopathic physicians are preventive medicine specialists. Physicians assess patient risk factors and heredity susceptibility and intervene appropriately to reduce risk and prevent illness. Prevention of disease is best accomplished through education and a lifestyle that supports health.

Definitions of naturopath on the Web:

• a therapist who practices naturopathy

• Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND or in Arizona “Naturopathic Medical Doctor” or NMD), in sixteen U.S. States and six Canadian provinces, refers exclusively to an alternative medicine degree granted by an accredited naturopathic medical school. …

• naturopathy – a method of treating disease using food and exercise and heat to assist the natural healing process

• naturopathic – Of or pertaining to naturopathy or to naturopaths

• naturopathy – A system of therapy that avoids drugs and surgery and emphasizes the use of natural remedies (air, water, heat, sunshine) and physical means (massage, electrical treatment) to treat illness

• Doctor who uses natural remedies such as herbs and foods rather than surgery or synthetic drugs.

• means a member of the Canadian Naturopathic Association or any provincial/territorial association affiliated with it, or in the absence of such association, a person with comparable qualifications as determined by the Administrator;

• naturopathy – A system of therapy based on preventative care, and on the use of heat, water, light, air, and massage as primary therapies for disease. Some naturopaths use no medications, either pharmaceutical or herbal. Some recommend herbal remedies only. …

• naturopathy – a treatment philosophy that avoids use of pharmaceutical medication and surgery in favor of natural alternatives. Includes techniques that are considered forms of alternative medicine.

• naturopathy – A drugless system of treating disease, largely employing natural physical agents or forces, such as air, water, sunshine, etc.

• naturopathy – A major health system that includes practices that emphasize diet, nutrition, homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, manipulation, and various mind-body therapies. Focal points include self-healing and treatment through changes in lifestyle and emphasis on health prevention.

• naturopathy – Naturopathic medicine treats health conditions by utilizing the body’s inherent ability to heal. Naturopathic physicians aid the healing process by incorporating a variety of alternative methods based on the patient’s individual needs. …

• naturopathy – The practice of the use of natural substances to provide a healthier balance of internal chemistry.

• naturopathy – A form of health care that uses diet, herbs, and other natural methods and substances to cure illness without the use of drugs.

• naturopathy – A system of natural therapies which acknowledges and influences the innate healing potential of the body.

Definitions of natural on the Web:

• in accordance with nature; relating to or concerning nature; “a very natural development”; “our natural environment”; “natural science”; “natural resources”; “natural cliffs”; “natural phenomena”

• existing in or in conformity with nature or the observable world; neither supernatural nor magical; “a perfectly natural explanation”

• functioning or occurring in a normal way; lacking abnormalities or deficiencies; “it’s the natural thing to happen”; “natural immunity”; “a grandparent’s natural affection for a grandchild”

• (of a musical note) being neither raised nor lowered by one chromatic semitone; “a natural scale”; “B natural”

• unthinking; prompted by (or as if by) instinct; “a cat’s natural aversion to water”; “offering to help was as instinctive as breathing”

• (used especially of commodities) being unprocessed or manufactured using only simple or minimal processes; “natural yogurt”; “natural produce”; “raw wool”; “raw sugar”; “bales of rude cotton”

• someone regarded as certain to succeed; “he’s a natural for the job”

• related by blood; not adopted

• a notation cancelling a previous sharp or flat

• being talented through inherited qualities; “a natural leader”; “a born musician”; “an innate talent”

• (craps) a first roll of 7 or 11 that immediately wins the stake

• lifelike: free from artificiality; “a lifelike pose”; “a natural reaction”

• Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. “Nature” refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. It ranges in scale from the subatomic to the cosmic.

• The Natural is a 1952 novel about baseball written by Bernard Malamud. The book follows Roy Hobbs, a baseball prodigy whose career is sidetracked when he is shot by a sociopathic serial killer. …
• NATURAL is a fourth-generation programming language from Software AG. It is largely used for building databases output in plain text form, for example.


What is pathy?
-pathy (pə t̸hē)

1. feeling, suffering: telepathy
a. disease: neuropathy
b. treatment of disease: osteopathy, homeopathy
Origin: ModL < -pathia < Gr -patheia < pathos: see pathos

Webster’s New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.



1. Feeling; suffering; perception: telepathy.
2. a. Disease: neuropathy.
b. A system of treating disease: homeopathy.
Origin: Greek -patheia, from pathos; see kwent(h)- in Indo-European roots.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Allopathy: The system of medical practice which treats disease by the use of remedies which produce effects different from those produced by the disease under treatment. MDs practice allopathic medicine.

The term “allopathy” was coined in 1842 by C.F.S. Hahnemann to designate the usual practice of medicine (allopathy) as opposed to homeopathy, the system of therapy that he founded based on the concept that disease can be treated with drugs (in minute doses) thought capable of producing the same symptoms in healthy people as the disease itself.

In 2005, Jordan Cohen, the president of the Association of American Medical Colleges wrote,

“after more than a century of often bitterly contentious relationships between the osteopathic and allopathic medical professions, we now find ourselves living at a time when osteopathic and allopathic graduates are both sought after by many of the same residency programs; are in most instances both licensed by the same licensing boards; are both privileged by many of the same hospitals; and are found in appreciable numbers on the faculties of each other’s medical schools.[5]


U.S. News surveyed the 126 allopathic medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in 2008, plus the 20 osteopathic medical schools accredited by the American Osteopathic Association the same year. In total, 122 schools provided the data necessary to rank the quality of their research and primary care components.


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