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What is naturopathy?


In this article, you will discover what naturopathy is: its principles, its history, its benefits, the work of the naturopath, how to choose a naturopath and finally, the imbalances that could benefit from a naturopath.


Naturopathy has been growing rapidly in recent years and is becoming more and more common in the landscape of unconventional medicine.

Recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the 3rd traditional medicine, alongside Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine, naturopathy is a holistic medicine that takes into account all aspects of the person and seeks to act, not on the symptom, but on the cause.


Medicine primarily preventive, naturopathy aims to maintain and/or restore health by natural means. The naturopath seeks to restore the self-healing abilities inherent in each individual and her approach is to build on the strengths to counterbalance the weaknesses. To this end, she will establish a vitality assessment, which is not a diagnosis but which intends, by various means, to measure the level of vitality, to estimate overloads and deficiencies to stimulate and strengthen these capacities.


The naturopath has a dual mission, that of therapist, which allows the person to regain health and that of health educator, through which he gives vital hygiene advice, with the goal that the person maintains health in the long term. A naturopath should not create dependence with her clients but rather guide them on the path to health by making them actors in their own health, independently.

The origin of naturopathy

Many people see Hippocrates, the famous Greek philosopher and doctor, as the Father of naturopathy. According to the Organization of Natural Medicine, the 5 principles of naturopathy, established by Hippocrates, are:

  • First of all do not harm (primum non nocere)

  • Nature is healing (screw sousyrix natura)

  • Identify and treat the cause (tolle causam)

  • Detoxify and purify the body (purg are deinde)

  • Naturopathy teaches(docere)

So, what is a naturopath?

A person who has undergone a minimum of 1500 hours of training on, among other things, the functioning of the human body (physiology, anatomy and pathologies), natural products and their actions (supplements, vitamins and minerals , herbal medicine), aromatherapy, nutrition and healthy eating, the psychosomatic aspect of ailments and diseases and finally, good lifestyle habits.

The goal of the naturopath is to be able to accompany, guide, educate and advise people in their approach to health.

She is not a doctor, the naturopath cannot make any diagnosis and cannot induce people to stop all medical treatment. Rather, its role is to encourage anyone who wishes to stop medical treatment to seek advice from their doctor before doing so.

As Naturopathy is a field medicine, it aims to prevent disease, maintain health and balance; it can also be a great way to regain health if you take the time to look for the causes of the disease and identify ways to regain the overall balance.

The role of the naturopath

A naturopath, unlike a doctor, does not treat diseases or diagnoses. It can work in collaboration with him, but has a very different role, which is complementary. Many doctors refer some of their patients to a naturopath after seeing them.

The naturopath will seek to maintain or restore health by natural means, including the ability to implement the self-healing abilities of her clients. For this reason, she will have first made an overall assessment of the health factors, to estimate the level of vitality and possible deficiencies of the client. So, she's going to ask a lot of questions to find out about her client's lifestyle, for example, if he's playing sports, if he's having a stressful job, she'll try to learn more about his eating habits, etc. Depending on the answers obtained, the naturopath will position herself as a "health educator" and give advice for the goal that her client will have set to regain or maintain his health.

Choosing a good naturopath

Where the law allows the exercise of naturopathy, professional associations can provide a register of their members. Elsewhere, the therapist's competence must be assessed by checking whether she or he is a member of a professional association, what his training has been and by requesting references.

In order to choose a good naturopath, you have to make sure that he is well graduated. In Quebec there is the association of Professional Naturopaths of Quebec: ANPQ.


Lack of regulation:  While naturopathy is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a traditional medicine, it is a discipline that is not regulated in many countries, as is the case in Quebec. Unfortunately, this lack of regulation has allowed some individuals without naturopathic skills to improvise as a naturopath and to offer sometimes wacky or even dangerous treatments to patients. Cases of charlatantry and fraud were deplorable. It is therefore appropriate when choosing your naturopath, to check with the ANPQ,whether the practitioner in question has her or her diplomas in natural medicine such as nutrition and aromatherapy, to name a few.

 Here are some imbalances that could benefit from the help of a naturopath:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Muscle pain and chronic pain

  • Digestive system disorders

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety

  • Weak immune system

  • Eating disorder and weight management

  • Hormonal imbalance, menopause, PMS, thyroid, adrenals

  • Migraine

  • Skin problems

  • Allergies

  • Infertility

  • or any other imbalance...

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