a) In general, naturopathy emphasizes prevention, treatment and the promotion of optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and modalities which encourage the self-healing process – the vis medicatrix naturae. The philosophical approaches of naturopathy include prevention of disease, encouragement of the body's inherent healing abilities, natural treatment of the whole person, personal responsibility for one's health, and education of patients in health-promoting lifestyles. Naturopathy blends centuries-old knowledge of natural therapies with current advances in the understanding of health and human systems. Naturopathy, therefore, can be described as the general practice of natural health therapies.
    b) Many of the philosophical principles that underpin naturopathic practice can be traced to the teachings of Stoicism in ancient Greece and the practice of medicine in the Hippocratic schools. In addition to these ancient roots, naturopathic practice emerged from an amalgamation of the philosophy, techniques, science and principles that typified the alternative healing systems of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly those related to vitalism. These alternative approaches tended to focus both on health promotion and on health-care regimes that supported the patient’s innate healing processes.

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