Note to reader: Traditional Natural Medicine/Nature’s Medicine are terms that are used interchangeably.
What is Natural (Nature’s) Medicine?
Natural (Nature’s) Medicine’s basic premise is that ill health is fundamentally a functional imbalance, or disequilibrium within the body. Disease is a plethora of symptoms produced by the body’s attempt to re-establish homeostasis. Natural(Nature’s)Medicine Practitioners are healthcare professionals who are educated and experienced in the use of safe, gentle non-invasive eclectic therapies aimed at enhancing the body’s innate healing ability which is responsible for re-establishing and maintaining optimum health.
Scope of Practice
A Natural Medicine/Nature’s Practitioner is one who practices (teaches) a preventive healing system in which only natural substances and techniques are used, including but not limited to nutritional and dietary therapeutics; botanicals(herbal remedies), electrotherapy, natural environmental force, Manual therapy techniques, remedial exercises, mineral therapy and biochemical therapy(the use of natural minerals and cell salts) hydrotherapies, and homeo-therapeutics( a dynamic use of mineral and plant extracts). Full scope is available under scope or practice.
Roots of our Organization in North America
In 1902, Dr. Benedict Lust (a student of Father Kneipp et al. European Nature’s practitioner who immigrated to America) organized the Nature’s Society of America, which was reorganized, in 1919, as the American Naturopathic Association (ANA). In 1921, Lust was elected president for life. Shortly after he died, a combination of inter-personal and philosophical differences caused the organization to split in two, forming the Eastern ANA and the Western ANA, each with its own constitution, officers, programs, and conventions. The Eastern naturopaths were determined to follow the example set forth by Father Kneipp et al., while those in the West seemed determined to "medicalize" naturopathy. "Proclaiming their distinct perspectives, the two camps developed their own textbooks: Paul Wendel's Standardized Naturopathy (1951) and Harry Riley Spitler's Basic Naturopathy (1948)." (Read more on Nature’s Medicine Oxford University press)
The Examining Board of Natural Medicine Practitioners-North America/Board of Natural Medicine Doctors and Practitioners (USA), the Natural Medicine Certification Council (Canada) and Ontario sub-group known as Ontario Natural Medicine Practitioners Association are certifying organizations of the which are off shoots of the Eastern American Naturopathic association. The organizations has continuously practice traditional nature’s healing system in accordance with Father’s Knipp et al philosophy.
Traditional Nature’s/Naturopathy/Natural Medicine VS Modern Naturopathic Medicine
Traditional nature’s healing approaches can act to facilitate the body’s own natural healing processes. The traditional natural (nature’s) medicine practitioner does not undertake to “diagnose” or “treat diseases,” nor by traditional definition DO NOT use surgery, drugs, or other or any invasive methodology as part of service.
According to the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”
According to traditional healing concepts the underlying cause of what we call “disease” (or, “dis-ease”) is a combination of improper eating, unhealthy habits, and environmental factors which cause biological imbalances leading to a weakening of the bodies’ natural defenses (immune system) and subsequent breakdown in health. The main focus of traditional nature’s healing practitioners is, “Prevention” help to find root causes of individual client internal imbalances and provide guidance to the client for change, to enable the body to harness its own healing abilities.
Traditional Natural Medicine/Nature’s Practitioners — uses eclectic modalities with the goal of enhancing optimal health. Modalities include, but are not limited to traditional healing techniques such as, herbal preparations, homeopathic preparations, harnessing the energy field , ethno- remedies (remedies of various cultures), spiritual counseling, hydrotherapy ,lifestyle management, flower essences( for relaxation and calming the mind) addictions counselling, manual techniques, nutritional and dietary techniques, non-invasive assessment techniques such as pulse, tongue assessment and physical assessments as well as nutritional and dietary imbalances, metabolic assessment, and non-invasive allergy assessment, traditional urine, saliva analysis, hair mineral (lab interpretation) and other non-invasive assessment techniques.
Modern Naturopathy Vs Traditional Natural (Nature’s) Medicine
Modern naturopaths got their start in 1951 as Western "medicalize" naturopathy. "Proclaiming their distinct scope or practice.
Modern Naturopathic “medicalize” Medicine Doctors/Physicians are very similar to MD’s but without the allopathic medical education and licensing.
Scope of Practice-Modern Naturopaths (In general)
- Performs surgery
- Seeks to Prescribes drugs
- Treats symptoms
- Uses invasive procedures
- Diagnoses and treats illness based upon conventional medical theories
- Aspires to become primary care physician — with shorter training than Medical Doctors, and are Not acknowledged by AMA or CMA
- Uses many allopathic diagnostic procedures including X-rays and electrocardiograms with only outpatient clinical training, which has less training than conventional medical programs
- Practices obstetrics including episiotomies without the extensive training required by medical doctors practicing obstetrics(some states)
- Practices Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Rheumatology without receiving post-graduate work as interns and residents (some states).
- Is a system developed from traditional true naturopathy but augmented, thereby interjecting portions of conventional medical techniques, as a result losing the original form of traditional naturopathy practice
- Competes with conventional medical doctor’s care
Modern Naturopathic Doctors, physicians advocate diagnostic and disease care, while Traditional Natural Medicine/Nature’s Practitioners) emphasize "teaching" healthy lifestyle choices, non-invasive assessment techniques, and guidance in self-care and disease prevention in accordance with traditional nature’s healing philosophy.
The sole purpose of this information is to provide clarity on the difference between Modern Naturopathy and Traditional Natural (Nature’s) Medicine Practitioners. It is by no means intended to demean the practice of Modern Naturopathy.
Clarification on Tongue and Pulse assessments:
Pulse assessment dates back to antiquity, Avicenna (981–1037 CE) Egyptians, Indian system of medicine, African system of medicine, Chinese system and many other but was made popular in western by the Santorio (29 March 1561 – 22 February 1636).
- Pulse assessment is a tool within the scope of practice of all healthcare professions, regulated or non-regulated. It is within the scope of practice of western traditional natural (Nature’s) health practitioners since its inception in 1902s.
- Pulse assessment is not a controlled act nor is it exclusive to specific healthcare profession.
History of Tongue Assessment:
The widespread adoption of tongue examination as part of western medical practice appears to be peculiar to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and extended to the Americas and Europe. John Haller, in a brief paper, suggests an eighteenth-century origin, although the clinicians he credits with its dissemination – John Abernethy (1764–1831) and François Broussais (1772–1838) – were, in terms of their working lives, largely early nineteenth-century. Tongue inspection however can be trace back to antiquity times within all cultures.
- Tongue assessment is a tool within the scope of practice of all healthcare professions regulated or-non regulated. It is within the scope of practice of natural (Nature’s) health practitioners since its inception.
- Tongue assessment is not a controlled act nor is it exclusive to the practice of any specific healthcare profession.
- Dispensing of herbal preparations and nutritional supplements and functional foods are in the public domain. This is within the scope of practice traditional natural (Nature’s) health professions since its inception.
- Dispensing any kind of herbal preparations is not a controlled nor is it exclusive to Chinese Medicine.
According to the Charters of Rights and Freedom in Canada, non-regulated professions are at liberty to practice and earn a living, as western natural health practitioners providing they are not using designated titles and regulated professions controlled acts. In Addition regulatory colleges in Canada have no control or can they over reach their powers to practitioners beyond their members.
All members of this organization are required to abide by a code of ethics and scope of practice as established by the organization.
Read members scope of practice on this website