Health Care in Harmony with Nature
Dr. Arlan Cage, ND, LAc


Naturopathic Medicine....
The Western Holistic Tradition


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Naturopathic Medicine evolved during the later half of 1800s with the merger of two other alternative medical systems: Nature Cure and Homeopathy. Doctors using these systems found their patients got better results when the methods of Nature Cure -- fresh air, clean water, nutritious food, sunlight, hydrotherapy, exercise -- were combined with the subtle yet highly specific energy medicines of Homeopathy. This movement started in the European Alps, primarily in Germany, but quickly spread to America

As early as the 1850s specialized medical schools were teaching a combination of hydrotherapy, homeopathy and nutrition. In fact, the Hygeo-Therapeutic College of New York, in the 1850s, became the first medical school of any kind in the US to require 4 years of specialized education.

By the 1890s, it became clear that this unique combination of healing modalities needed its own name to distinguish it from the other medical systems of the day. The word Nature from Nature Cure was combined with -opathy from Homeopathy, and the term Naturopathy was born.

Now, in the 21st Century, Naturopathic Medicine is the premier system of health care that combines modern, scientific methods with traditional, natural therapeutics.

The great strength of Naturopathic medicine lies in the fact that the therapeutic modalities utilized by Naturopathic Doctors are steeped in hundreds, sometimes thousands of years of empirical, clinical evidence which has documented their efficacy. To this is added the latest scientific knowledge in areas such as Biochemistry, Nutrition, Physiology, and Botanical Medicine Pharmacology, to name just a few. Uniting these different approaches is a Naturopathic philosophy that respects your individuality.

The 6 Core Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine is based on the philosophy of Vitalism: that all living beings possess an intelligent, living energy which gives us an innate ability to heal. Naturopathic Medicine, based in European traditions, calls this energy the Vital Force. Oriental Medicine traditions call it the Qi; Ayurvedic Medicine from India refers to it as Prana. Every traditional culture from around the world has their own term for this phenomenon, and more than 95 different names for the Vital Force have been recorded.

Historically, the early European roots of Vitalistic philosophy in Healing date back to around 500 B.C. in Greece, and the system of Medicine known as Greek Medicine, of which Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, was a practitioner. This system of medicine was heavily influenced by both Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine. The Term 'Vital Force' appears to have been a translation of the Terms 'Qi' and 'Prana'. We may never know how much knowledge about Vitalism was lost during the dark ages due to the tragic ignorance that lead to the burning of most of Europe's libraries.

Interestingly, the most advanced theories of matter and energy in the field of Modern Physics, called Quantum Field Theories, are virtually identical to the descriptions of Qi and Prana given in the ancient texts, many of which are thousands of years old.

The Vital Force constitutes a natural wisdom of the body which constantly works to restore health to the human system -- in essence a living, intelligent, feedback control system. Naturopathic medicine is designed to work with this inherent healing ability in a holistic manner to restore balance and harmony to the whole person.

A Voice from the Past
One of the founders of Naturopathic Medicine, Dr. Benedict Lust, summarized the philosophy of Naturopathy very succinctly in 1918:

"The natural system for curing disease is based on a return to nature in regulating the diet, breathing, exercising, bathing and the employment of various forces to eliminate the poisonous products in the system, and so raise the vitality of the patient to a proper standard of health."

Benedict Lust, 1918,
Founder of Modern, Naturopathic Medicine



Naturopathic healing principles recognize that each of your parts - your body, mind, emotions and spirit - are interconnected and constantly interact. Disharmony on any one of these levels can have adverse effects on your body, in other words, cause disease. Likewise, the appropriate healing therapy might need to be directed at any one or a combination of these areas. Therefore, each aspect of your makeup and environment must be considered when evaluating your case Naturopathically.

In Naturopathic Medicine, we understand that symptoms in different organs or different parts of your body, and seemingly unrelated illnesses or other life events from your past may play an important role in your current condition. Naturopathic doctors use this interconnected information about you to generate a specific, principle-based treatment plan customized for your particular needs.

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