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Naturopathy: License, Regulation, and Usefulness


The principle of wholeness is a medical approach that treats the human being as an organism with interconnected parts, with all its problems requiring a holistic approach. Naturopathy is an example of such an approach that explores and uses the natural sources of human health: herbs, yoga, meditation, a healthy diet, and lifestyle. These practices are sometimes considered unscientific, as they include rejected healing methods such as homeopathy or spiritual practices. Still, many other naturopathy techniques are proven to work well by various branches of science, and it means that this field can be developed to be beneficial for humanity.

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Naturopathy: The Definition

Naturopathy uses plants and other natural remedies for improving one’s health; it is part of complementary and alternative medicine. While its efficiency is contradictory, and many physicians do not accept it, people still use it and report the health improvement (American Association of Naturopathic Physicians: About us, 2021). Its methods include homeopathy, using a small number of substances as a cure, which healing effect is questionable. It also develops working practices, such as yoga, meditation, and psychotherapy; it also widely implements dietary recommendations and herbal substance usage. Naturopathy’s virtue is that it explores the healing potential of those practices and how they can be connected most beneficially.

Naturopathic principles are based on the human’s wholeness and respect toward life in general. They acknowledge the healing power of nature, identify the core causes of an issue or illness, making no harm at first, and recognize that the doctor should be a teacher for a patient (What Is Naturopathic Medicine, 2021). This means that naturopathy considers that the human body has intrinsic healing potential. The primary appointment of the doctor is to wake up this potential by examining the patient and prescribing natural remedies and exercises to them. They often use psychotherapy to improve the psychic health of patients along with physical prescriptions, such as dietary or medications (American Association of Naturopathic Physicians: About us, 2021). In that way, they combine various approaches to the human organism, searching for the best ones and implementing them.

Naturopathy Practices in the United States

The legislature and scale of naturopathy practices differ significantly from state to state. Some states limit the usage of naturopathy at all, while others have organizations and associations connected with the subject. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is the organization that connects both doctors who practice it professionally and everyone interested in and supports this subject. Forty-two U.S. states and territories have naturopathic organizations, and several others also legally allow its practice (What Is Naturopathic Medicine, 2021). Those organizations are most active and developing, promoting their knowledge and ideas.

Naturopathic physicians struggle to obtain legislation and increase their community support. For example, a current active campaign supports the licensing of naturopathic medicine in Wisconsin (Naturopathic Medicine, 2021). Wisconsin Health Freedom Coalition is also supporting this legislation and promoting the principles of health freedom mentioned earlier. They argue that all people should have access to those practices they want, and no one should be persecuted for them if they do not harm (Take Action on Wisconsin’s Complementary and Alternative Health Practitioners Bill, 2021). Such methods include dietary prescriptions, herbal remedies, yoga, and meditations, all of which are elements of naturopathy.

There are various levels of education for naturopathic doctors and schools which train them. However, those schools often have no appropriate licenses, as traditional medical communities reject naturopathy. Still, naturopathy doctors can be found in all states; for example, there is a specific website for Wisconsin where one may browse and choose the appropriate doctor (Naturopathic Medicine, 2021). If one wants to become a naturopathic doctor, one may contact the local association of naturopathic medicine practitioners and obtain instructions on what they need to do. In that way, there is a strong and developing naturopathic community in the United States.

Health Freedom of Access Legislation of Naturopathy

Health freedom is the term that defines the essential human right to choose which healthcare system is the best suited for them. It is often used to advocate the usage of complementary and alternative medicine, which includes naturopathy. Three central freedoms are freedom to be alone, access, and act (Principles of Health Freedom, 2021). The first one means that no people should be the target of any pressure that limits their choice, directly or indirectly, and choose only on their own which practices they will use for their healing. Freedoms of access and act consider how easily practitioners can find, understand, and use those practices, including contacting qualified alternative medicine physicians. When those practices are in access, they will be developed more efficiently. For example, while there are claims against the scientific basis of naturopathy, it has evidence from psychology, pharmacognosy, and herbal and dietary sciences (What Is Naturopathic Medicine, 2021). In that way, health freedom is the approach that ensures the unrestricted exchange of knowledge and access to those practices that one finds helpful.

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Why Naturopathy Can be Good for People

I think naturopathy is a good part of the healthcare system and should be developed, not rejected. While some of its practices, such as homeopathy, have limited or unproven efficiency, its approach, in general, is very beneficial. Psycho-spiritual health is an integral part of one’s well-being, no matter whether they believe in something supernatural or not, and it is the advantage of this approach that it acknowledges this. I think naturopathic medicine should develop and use knowledge from various branches of science to make its practices more efficient and, thus, more recognized.

Health freedom is an essential part of modern democracy, where people are treated as conscious, sentient beings who have access to knowledge and are responsible for their actions. Alternative medicine is very different, and instead of rejecting it, it would be better to develop it. Health freedom promotes this development, as it stimulates the free exchange of knowledge between specialists and various branches of knowledge, for example, plant science and psychotherapy.

What can be Changed in the Current Naturopathy Legislation

Naturopathy’s potential is understudied, underestimated, and often rejected; in addition, its standards and registrations are often unclear or absent. In that way, those who choose to practice this discipline should have better access to its practices and doctors. The lack of good standards based on evidence weakens the whole approach, leading to further rejection. In addition, naturopathy is not well-developed, being a mix of both good and unproven practices. In that way, it should be explored further, collecting the efficient remedies and rejecting inefficient ones; the development of strong standards and official registration would also benefit it.


As one sees, naturopathy is a complex topic that is often contradictory: while some of its practices are helpful, others seem to be delusions. An example of the former is using yoga, based on modern anatomy, to heal body problems. The latter includes such superstitions as homeopathy, which are primarily unsuccessful in proving their efficiency. Naturopathic specialists have a well-formed and constantly developing community in the United States that promotes health freedom and advocates unrestricted access to its practices. In general, this discipline has the potential to be a robust healing system, combining various efficient approaches in the most beneficial ways.


American association of naturopathic physicians: About us. (2021). American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Web.

Naturopathic medicine. (2021). Wisconsin Naturopathic Doctors Association. Web.

Principles of health freedom. (2021). National Health Freedom Coalition. Web.

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Take action on Wisconsin’s complementary and alternative health practitioners bill! (2021). Wisconsin Health Freedom Coalition. Web.

What is naturopathic medicine. (2021). Bastyr University. Web.

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