Not to be confused with tree-hugging, naturopath refers to a style of medicine steeped in the philosophy of treating the individual with the disease or disorder, not just their illness. Though the natural power of the world is utilized, there is also usage of the mind/body connection. The primary focus of naturopathic medicine is nature’s healing powers, which means it can also provide alternative cancer treatments.

Background
Since ancient times, about 400 B.C. in Greece, the practice of vitalism has been the foundation of naturopathic medicine. Within human beings is an energy that can be salubrious when channelled correctly. The Founder of Modern Naturopath Medicine, Dr. Benedict Lust, stated in 1918 that “the natural system for curing disease is based on a return to the nature in regulating diet, breathing, exercising, bathing and the employment of various forces to eliminated the poisonous products in the system, and so raise the vitality of the patient to a proper standard of health.”

Eastern traditions call these aforementioned various forces “Qi,” whereas Ayurvedic practices call it “Prana.” In Europe, this energy has been dubbed Vital Force. Looking at these three names, anyone may immediately recognize such terminology from Qi Gong and Yoga.

In the 1920s and 1930s, the naturopathic movement was garnering much interest with the public. The focus at the time was correcting and preventing diseases through proper diet and exercise. Throughout the 1940s and up to the 1970s, naturopathy was suppressed by the development of pharmacology and drugs. Around the 1990s, several research publications began advocating naturopath practices for dealing with degenerative disorders.

Present Applications
However, the 2000s have seen tremendous jumps in the popularity of holistic measures. In America and Canada, the number of alternative medicine practitioners has increased exponentially now that the advantages of naturopathy are being proven.

When it comes to being an alternative cancer treatment, a naturopathic oncologist might prescribe the following:
• Lifestyle counselling – helping patients make better life decisions
• Herbal and botanical tinctures, extracts and teas
• Vitamins, minerals and amino acids
• Chiropractic care
• Hydrotherapy
• Physical and exercise therapies
Acupuncture

These methods fit into the “Therapeutic Order” created by the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC), which talks about first establishing a foundation by rekindling the Vital Force, restoring a weakened system, rehabilitating a dysfunctional musculoskeletal system and eventually symptom repression.

Education
When it comes to becoming a naturopathic doctor in Canada, passion for homeopathic health and wellness is not the sole qualifier. One must first attend an accredited college. Because throughout the years the medicine practice has been used in misleading ways throughout North America, including false credentials and pseudo-scientific applications, it’s now mandatory that all naturopath professionals sit the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX), pass and become a member of the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME).

Getting back to nature has certainly become a unique tool for dealing with many of mankind’s most detrimental illnesses, including cancer. Naturopathic medicine has a long history of correcting issues through modifying poor habits, reducing stress and encouraging more physical activity. More information can be found at Dr. Sean Ceaser, ND.