Naturopathy is an art and science of healthy living and a drugless system of healing based on well founded philosophy. It has its own concept of health and disease and also the principle of treatment. Naturopathy is a very old science. We can find a number of references in our Vedas and other ancient texts. The morbid matter theory, concept of vital force and other concepts upon which Naturopathy is based are already available in old texts. The revival of Naturopathy started in India by translation of Germany’s Louis Kuhne’s book “New Science of Healing ''. Shri D. Venkat Chelapati Sharma translated this book in Telugu language in 1894. Shri Shroti Kishan Swaroop of Bijnor translated this book into Hindi and Urdu languages in 1904. All this gave a wide propagation to this system.
Gandhiji was influenced by the book Return to Nature written by Adolf Just and become a firm believer of Naturopathy. He not only wrote several articles in favour of Naturopathy in his newspaper Harijan but did several experiments on himself too, on his family members and members of his Ashram. It may be noted here that Gandhiji used to stay at the Nature Cure Clinic of Dr. Dinshaw Mehta situated in Pune during 1934 to 1944. In his memory, the Government of India established the National Institute of Naturopathy in 1986 at that place. Gandhiji included Naturopathy in his constructive programmes. Due to the influence of Gandhiji, several National leaders joined this minority health movement. The names of Ex-Prime Minister Shri Morarji Desai, Ex-Governor of Gujarat Shri Shriman Narayan, 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,
Dr. M.M. Bhamgara, Dr. Vegi Raju Krishnam Raju, Dr. B. Venkat Rao, Dr. B. Vijaya Laxmi, Dr. Ganga Prasad Gaur Nahar, Shri Dharam Chanda Saravagi, Dr. Sukhbir Singh Rawat, Acharya K. Laxman Sharma etc.
Here, it may also be mentioned that the modern Naturopathy movement was started in Germany and other western countries with Water Cure (Hydrotherapy) therapy. Water Cure was synonymous with Nature Cure in those early days. The credit of making Water Cure world famous goes to Vincent Priessnitz (1799-1851), who was a farmer. Later on, other personalities also made their contribution in this work. The name of Louis Kuhne needs special mention, who propounded the Principle of Unity of Disease and Treatment and provided a theoretical base to this method. The book New Science of Healing written by him has been translated into several languages of the world.
The names of Dr. Henry Lindlahr, Dr. J. H. Kellogg, Arnold Ehrit, D. D. Palmer, Rolier, E.D. Babbit, Bernarr Macfadden, Arnold Rickley, J.H. Tilden, Father Kneipp, Benedict Lust, Stainley Lief and Herry Benjamin etc. may also be mentioned among others who had their share of contribution to the development of Naturopathy.
As on today, Naturopathy is Recognised and well accepted as an independent System of Medicine.Presently there are 12 Degree Colleges, Affiliated to Universities and are imparting its five and a half years degree course of Bachelor of Naturopathy & Yogic Sciences (BNYS).
Salient Features of Naturopathy
- All diseases, their causes and treatment are one. Except for traumatic and environmental conditions, the cause of all diseases is one i.e. accumulation of morbid matter in the body. The treatment of all diseases is elimination of morbid matter from the body.
- The primary cause of disease is accumulation of morbid matter. Bacteria and virus enter and survive in the body only after the accumulation of morbid matter when a favorable atmosphere for their growth is established in body. Hence, the basic cause of disease is morbid matter and bacteria secondary causes.
- Acute diseases are self-healing efforts of the body. Hence, they are our friends, not the enemy. Chronic diseases are the outcome of wrong treatment and suppression of the acute diseases.
- Nature is the greatest healer. The human body itself has the healing power to prevent itself from disease and regain health if unhealthy.
- In Nature Cure it is not the disease but the entire body of the patient which is caused and is renewed.
- Naturopathy Cures Patients suffering from chronic ailments are also treated successfully in comparatively less time by Naturopathy.
- In Nature Cure the suppressed diseases are brought to surface and are removed permanently.
- Naturopathy treats all the aspects like physical, mental, social and spiritual at the same time.
- Naturopathy treats the body as a whole.
- According to Naturopathy, “Food is only the Medicine”, no external medications are used.
- Performing prayer according to one’s spiritual faith is an important part of treatment (According to Gandhiji “Rama Nama" is the best Natural Treatment)
Techniques and Benefits of Different Modalities of Naturopathy
- Diet Therapy
- Fasting Therapy
- Mud Therapy
- Chromo Therapy
- Air Therapy
- Magnet Therapy
Some Important Treatments of Naturopathy
- Mud pack, Mud Applications
- Mud Bath, Underground Mud Bath, Mud Pool Bath
- Hip Bath
- Spinal Bath, Spinal Spray Bath
- Immersion Bath, Friction Bath
- Foot Bath, Arm Bath
- Steam Bath, Sauna Bath
- Green Leaves Sun Bath
- Sun Bath, Colour Sun Bath (Chromo Bath)
- Hot & Cold Fomentation
- Wet Sheet Pack, Chest Pack, Abdomen Pack, Trunk Pack
- Knee Pack, Neck Pack, Wet Girdle Pack
- Enema-Warm Water, Butter Milk, Tender Coconut Water etc.
- Circular Jet Bath
- Colon Irrigation
- Deluxe Hydro Massage, Jacuzzi
- Hot and Cold Water Douches, Effusions
- Whirlpool Bath
- Underwater Exercises
- Magnet Therapy
- Colour Therapy
- Physiotherapy Treatments - Exercise Therapy, Electro Therapy
National Institute of Naturopathy, Pune
Government Registered Naturopathy & Yoga Doctors
- Board of Indian Medicine, Secunderabad, Govt. of A.P. (1974)
- Karnataka Ayurveda, Unani & Naturopathy Practitioners Board, Bangalore, (1994)
- Tamil Nadu Board of Indian Medicine, Chennai, Govt. of Tamil Nadu (1995)
- M.P. Ayurveda, Unani, Prakritik Chikitsa Board, Bhopal. Govt. of MP 1975 (Amended in 2006) (Since 2007)
- Chhattisgarh Ayurveda, Unani & Naturopathy Board, Raipur. Govt. of CG ( Act passed in 2006-07 Registration since 2008)