Naturopathy is a holistic system of medicine that is most often practiced in the USA and Canada, although there are schools of naturopathy now in many other countries. The therapy is based on using naturally occurring substances to encourage natural healing and targets prevention of illness by reduction of stress, healthy diet and lifestyle; whilst limiting the use of pharmaceutical drugs, radiotherapies and surgery. Therapists that practice naturopathy can be called traditional naturopaths or naturopathic physicians. Some other healthcare providers/ therapists may use naturopathic principles with other therapies. Naturopaths could combine many different treatment methods such as nutritional, herbal, counselling, flower essences, homeopathy and mind body treatments. Most naturopaths would combine naturopathy with conventional medicine - where absolutely necessary - thereby taking a complementary approach; but a small group may reject conventional medicine and use naturopathy as an alternative form of treatment.
Patient QI View
The degree of training that naturopaths have varies considerably between different training schools. Some schools provide a very high level of medical training and their graduates have an ND (naturopathic doctor) qualification which entitles them to prescribe medications. An ND who works with conventional medicine, when necessary, could be an excellent coordinating therapist.
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Rules Regulations and Associations
In the USA there is no national regulation and the regulation of Naturopathy therefore varies by State and as a consequence, levels of training also vary. Within many states, Naturopaths have been accepted as primary healthcare doctors but this applies only to graduates of specified colleges. Other countries such as the UK, Canada and South Africa seem to be waiting for a standardization of naturopathy in the USA before they set their own regulations.
Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors http://www.oand.org/
UK The Association of Naturopathic Practitioners http://naturopathy-anp.com/about.htm
The British Naturopathic Association http://www.naturopaths.org.uk/
Irish Naturopaths Association http://www.naturopaths.ie/
Spain Asociación Profesional Española Naturopatía y Bioterapia http://www.apenb.org/web/
Italy Associazione Professionale che raccoglie i Naturopati italiani ed europei http://www.naturaliter.org/
France French Federation of Naturopathy http://fenahman.org/
Norway The Norwegian Association of Natural Medicine http://www.nnh.no/
Sweden Swedish Natural Medical Association http://www.snlf.se/
Denmark Danish Naturopathy Association http://www.danskheilpraktikerforening.dk/
Holland Association of Natural Medicine Therapists http://www.vnt-nederland.nl/
Belgium Union of Naturopathy http://www.naturopathie-belgique.net/
Switzerland Swiss Association of Naturopathy https://www.naturaerzte.ch/
Australian Naturopathic Practitioners Association http://www.anpa.asn.au/
South African Naturopathy Association http://naturopathy.org.za/
NZ Society of Naturopaths http://www.naturopath.org.nz/