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Special Content

Issue no 34, 19-25 November 2022

Naturopathy: Healing Diseases from the Root


Suvidha Kumra

Naturopathy is one of the important systems of traditional medicine in India. Naturopathy means keeping the body healthy by living in synchrony with the nature. In today's busy lifestyle, people are suffering from many types of diseases. Through Naturopathy, the body can be kept healthy by following a disciplined routine. In fact, Naturopathy is the holistic route to human wellness. Naturopathy is a distinct primary health care system that stresses upon the body's selfhealing mechanism. It uses a wide range of therapies to support human wellness. The tenets of Naturopathy are based on the usefulness of exercise, sunlight, freshwater, stress management, healthy diet, and so on. Naturopathy strongly advocates the importance of health, minimizing symptoms of illness, balancing the entire human mechanism and supporting the body's own ability to heal. Therefore, it works to keep the human body healthy by removing toxic and unwanted substances from it. Naturopathy believes that the primary cause of any disease is the accumulation of morbid matters in the body. Bacteria and viruses get into the human body only when the body accumulates morbid matters. Naturopathy believes that the chronic diseases are the result of incorrect treatment and suppression of the acute disease. The human body possesses the power to protect itself from diseases and revive it. Therefore, in the process of cure, the entire human body is targeted to heal the disease. In Naturopathy treatment, the suppressed diseases are brought to the surface and are eliminated permanently. Naturopathy embraces several therapies which include herbs, massage, exercise, and diet/ nutritional counselling. Some more popular therapies which fall under Naturopathy are Mud Therapy, Manipulative Therapy, Electrotherapy, Acupuncture, Hydrotherapy, Chemotherapy, Physiotherapy, Exercise, Yoga Therapy, and Magnetic Therapy. Here we are mentioning the main treatment methods used in Naturopathy.

Diet Therapy: In Naturopathy, food is generally classified according to its nature as acidic or alkaline. Thus, diet therapy greatly affects the movement and function of various parts of the body and the entire digestive system. There are mainly three types of diet under this therapy:

a)      Elimination Diet: This diet focuses on cleansing the body. The food ingredients that help rejuvenate the human body fall into this category. It usually comes first in diet therapy. To cleanse the entire system, you need to lay the foundation of health in the beginning. This diet includes food like lemonade, citric juice, green tea etc.

b)      Soothing Diet: Another way to detoxify the body is through a soothing diet. This diet is specially designed to make the human body accustomed to nontoxic food behaviour so that the body can start digesting solid food better. This diet therapy includes food like boiled vegetables, vegetable soup, salad etc.

c)       Constructive diet: Constructive diet is the third and final method of diet therapy in which the human body starts functioning optimally. In this phase, the body is given whole wheat and carbohydrates. The therapy includes food like sprouted grains, pulses, unpolished rice etc

Fasting Therapy: Naturopathy is a systematic way of healing which believes that the root cause of most of diseases is the accumulation of toxic matter in the digestive system. Fasting has been regarded as one of the prominent techniques of Naturopathy. It promotes the idea of natural healing without consuming any chemicals. In Naturopathy, fasting is performed to enable nature to start its cleaning process in the body and cut down the additional load to digest food. Fasting therapy accentuates the idea of giving rest to the digestive system to regain the health and freshness of the body. This therapy gives digestive organs ample time to restore its efficiency which has been distorted with toxic eating habits. As unhealthy food choices tend to weaken our immune system, fasting therapy is one such natural phenomenon that detoxifies the body to augment immunity, physical, psychological, and sensory wellness in the long run. The duration of fasting therapy depends upon the age of the patient, condition of the disease, and the amount and type of drug used before. Under fasting therapy, patients are advised to observe a series of short fasts of two or three days and gradually increase the duration of fast with each succeeding day. It is also a mere fact that prolonged fasting should be performed under the supervision of a specialized naturopath to ensure that no harm will accrue to fasting patients.

Mud Therapy: Earth is made up of various minerals and compounds that play an important role in boosting the body's immunity level. Clay is one such element of earth which has been linked with many religious beliefs due to its healing properties. In Naturopathy, Mud Therapy involves the scientific use of moistened earth in a proper manner to benefit the body from within. Mud possesses the quality of absorbing toxins from the body which eventually helps in the prevention of many diseases. The application of mud over the body causes cooling and helps to retain the moisture. The shape and consistency of the mud can be changed easily by adding water. Mud therapy is easily available and is an affordable procedure. It has the property of absorbing all the colours from the sun and conveys them to the body. In the Mud Bath therapy, mud is applied to the patient in a sitting or lying position. It involves the application of minerals rich mud and natural salts over the body. In this therapy, thorough care must be taken to ensure that the patient is safe from catching a cold during bath. Thorough washing of the patient with cold water jet spray is followed after the bath. In case a patient is feeling cold, warm water can be used. Afterwards, the patient must be taken to a warm bed to avoid sickness. It should be noted that the duration of a mud bath should be 45 to 60 minutes. By educating about the root cause of health issues, Naturopathy aims to educate the people about healthy changes they can adopt in their lifestyle in order to get well. From advising on dietary and lifestyle changes to guiding you towards achieving emotional wellbeing; Naturopathy holds a prominent place in the world of medicine. If we take a broader glance at today's scenario, Naturopathy is widely known for its advantages and hugely applauded for its various modes of therapies. It has been accepted as an independent system of medicine. Naturopathy is an ancient and rational system of healing that utilises natural elements based on the theory of self-healing capacity of the body, vitality, and detoxification. By adopting this natural method, we can stay healthy for a long time by avoiding the side effects of toxic chemicals.

(The author is Deputy Director, PIB, New Delhi. She can be reached at suvidhakumra@gmail.com)

Views expressed are personal.