Development and Status
Naturopathy is a healing system that harnesses the body's innate ability to restore health using the five fundamental elements of nature – Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Ether. Naturopathy encourages a return to a natural way of living that harmonizes with one's inner self, society, and the environment.
Naturopathy offers a practical approach to disease management with a solid theoretical foundation that applies to holistic medical care. By focusing on the fundamentals of health, it provides an economically viable framework for future medicine. While the core principles of Naturopathy involve the five elemental forces, recent developments include drugless therapies like Massage, Electrotherapy, Physiotherapy, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Magnetotherapy, and, above all, Diet.
The origins of the Nature Cure movement can be traced to Germany and other Western countries, primarily known as the "Water cure" or Hydrotherapy. Vincent Priessnitz (1799-1851), a farmer, played a pivotal role in popularizing Water cure and is often hailed as the "Father of Naturopathy." The term "Naturopathy" was coined by Dr. John Scheel in 1895 and further promoted in the Western world by Dr. Benedict Lust. Over time, numerous medical professionals, including doctors of modern medicine, embraced Naturopathy, expanding its modalities scientifically. In India, Mahatma Gandhi, the "Father of the Nation," became a strong advocate of Naturopathy, incorporating it into his programs. He even established a Naturopathy Hospital in Uruli Kanchan, District Pune, Maharashtra, which remains operational today.
Naturopathy employs various diagnostic methods:
- Full life case history, covering all life facts since birth.
- Facial diagnosis, which studies characteristic features on the body's face to understand health conditions.
- Iris diagnosis, an assessment of the condition of visceral organs based on iris examination.
- Modern clinical diagnosis to some extent.
Gem therapy involves the use of different gems worn or used by patients to alleviate specific ailments. Gems, precious stones of varying qualities and colors, are products of nature. Gem therapy draws upon the concept that diseases are a form of "color hunger," and a gem therapist can identify the color hunger associated with various illnesses. By providing the body with the desired color through wearing or using the gem, one can potentially recover from the ailment. Gem references and their powers can be found in ancient Sanskrit works on Astrology.
The significance and healing properties of gems are well documented in ancient texts such as Vishnu Purana. Today, ambitious individuals wear gems to increase their wealth, while those seeking relief from suffering use them as well. Gems are commonly used in Ayurveda as medicines, referred to as gem therapy. There are detailed procedures for converting gems into ashes (Bhasmas) and administering them to patients with various health conditions, both simple and complex.