Basics of Naturopathy
Naturopathy is science that elucidates how
addition and removal of substance to the pool is bring about
to restore the normal homeostatic condition, for treatment
purpose as well on preventive scale.
Homeostatic system of body depends on adding and removing
chemicals in the body so that constant pool is maintained for
different metabolic pathways.
Treatment part of naturopathy directly deals with reorganization
of disturbed homeostatic condition.
To restore normal homeostatic condition treatment modalities of
naturopathy tries to balance
Heat gain and heat loss mechanism (thermoregulation)
These three are the key factor in maintaining homeostatic
condition of body and are closely interrelated with each other.
Disturbance in either one for long time triggers disturbance of
other regulatory system.
Correcting one of these effects brings healthy change in other
Maintenance of homeostatic condition in either state is
determined by; Addition of a substance to the pool from
Gastrointestinal tract or lungs
Synthesized with in body
Released from storage deposits
Removal of substance from the pool through
Loss in urine, feaces, expiration, body surface.
Accumulation in storage deposits.
Body balance or homeostatic condition remains nearly constant
when addition of substance is equal to the removal of substance.
If either addition is more than removal or addition is less than
removal the homeostatic mechanism gets disturbs.
Disturbance in homeostatic mechanism is maintained by negative
and positive feedback mechanism of body.
Factors of these feedback mechanisms are acute control and long
term control system.
In naturopathy cold therapy, hot therapy, enema and diet
regulation are course of action in treating disease and for
How addition of substance to the pool is corrected in
Addition of substance to the pool is determined by hunger,
appetite, and thirst and inspired air.
Amount of substance to be added is determined by hunger.
Type of food that person prefer is determined by appetite.
Amount of water taken by person according to requirement is
determined by thirst.
Hunger is determined by:
Neural signal from gastrointestinal tract of stomach filling
Chemical signals from nutrient in the blood (glucose, amino
acids and fatty acids)
Signals from Gastrointestinal tract hormone
Signals from hormones released by adipose tissue
Signals from cerebral cortex (sight, smell and taste).
Common disorders (decrease feeding or increase feeding) of
hunger is due to
Deficiency of some nutrients
Excess of some nutrients
Disparity of nutrients.
Thirst is another mechanism of addition of substances to
maintain balance of water and ions.
Common disorders in thirst is due to
ignoring stimuli of thirst
erroneous salt intake
These factors of disorder in hunger and thirst are some cause to
disturb thermoregulation, osmoregulation and Glucoregulation
Naturopathy corrects the addition of substance to the pool is
Diet regulation like
water, Honey and Lemon fasting
fruit juice fasting
High fiber, high water content diet
Low protein diet
Exercises, asanas and yoga.
Diet should be regulated in such a manner so that
Osmolarity is corrected by regulating inputs
Permeability of cell is maintained
Active transport system should be balanced
Proper maintenance of ions, vitamins and nutrient is done
These factors try to maintain thermoregulation, osmoregulation
and glucoregulation process. Thus helps in maintaining
How removal of substance from the pool is corrected in
Most of waste particle is end products of metabolism.
Organs that remove material outside the cell and body are skin,
kidney, lungs and large intestine.
External changes of temperature in environment cause effect on
We, in naturopathy utilize this factor of change in temperature
as therapeutic indices because effect of cold and hot for
appropriate duration induces or stimulates
To regulate these systems the external
easiest access is
Skin covers the whole body.
In order to adapt to the environment, skin is giant sense organ.
Skin is endowed with various plexus, arteriovenous anastomosis,
sweat glands, nerve fibers, free nerve ending, lymphatic
channels, thermoreceptors and nocireceptors.
There are far more cold receptors in many parts of skin than
The deep body receptors are found only in certain parts of body,
mainly in spinal cord, abdominal viscera and in and around great
Deep receptors function differently from skin receptor as they
are exposed to body core temperature.
Conduction, convection and radiation are methods of
physiological system for heat balancing and osmoregulation which
is done mostly by skin.
Naturopathy makes use of conduction, convection and radiation
methods of physiological system in their treatment modalities to
correct the disturbance in homeostatic condition.
Skin is object for application of treatment.
Water is medium of thermoregulation as well as osmoregulation.
Water is the medium for treatment in naturopathy for conduction,
convection and radiation.
Water has high specific heat several thousand times as great as
that of air so that each unit portion of water adjacent to skin
can absorbs far greater quantity of heat than can air.
Moreover, conductivity of water for heat is markedly high in
comparison with that of air.
Various applications generate conduction, convection and
radiation methods, which stimulate nervous system to cause
vasoconstriction on cooling or vasodilatation on heating.
These in turn try to maintain core temperature with in their
To counteract vasoconstriction and directly after
Arterial pressure increases
Increases blood flow
Increase in blood glucose concentration
Increase in rate of blood coagulation.
Such responses of increase in local control of blood flow:
Deliver oxygen to tissue
Deliver another nutrients, amino acid, fatty acid and so
Removal of Co2 from tissue
Removal of H+ ions from tissue
Maintenance of proper concentration of other ions in tissue
Transport of various hormones and various chemicals in other
Removal of toxic material from cell and delivery of nutrition to
cell balances heat gain heat loss mechanism and maintain proper
ionic condition of cell.
pH and movement of ions and pressure of ion in and outside of
cell maintain and strengthens osmoregulation.
The major organ of osmoregulation is kidney.
Kidneys play a very large role in human osmoregulation.
It regulate the amount of water and electrolyte balance in urine
Regulate arterial pressure and acid base balance.
Osmoregulation is achieved by
processes of filtration,
reabsorption, secretion and excretion,through kidney.
Increase in local control of blood flow increases delivery of
oxygen to the tissue. It removes carbon dioxide from tissue in
to the blood. Increased carbon dioxide and hydrogen ions from
tissue diffuse from the blood in to alveoli of lungs. This
maintains oxygen and carbon dioxide level.
Transport of hormone like insulin, thyroxin and various
chemicals in other tissue try to maintain concentration of
nutrients by regularizing metabolism. This is glucoregulation.
Secretion of mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid are key
factors in regulation of osmoregulation and glucoregulation.
Repetitive erroneous of input and output is responsible for
distorted homeostatic mechanism. To restore its normalcy
repetitive application of treatment procedure is advised.
Effects of repeated procedures is removal of stress on short
term and long term control mechanism which in turn try to bring
back the altered set point towards normalcy.
Restoring of normal set point is bringing homeostatic condition
in healthy state.
To restore normal homeostatic mechanism repeated application of
treatment procedure is applied.
Mechanism and Effect of cold therapy
therapy is applied on particular part of body or whole body,
body temperature decreases.
Decrease in body temperature results in excitement of cold
receptors and free nerve endings, beneath the skin.
Nerve carries signal through nerve fibers to stimulate the
sympathetic centers of posterior hypothalamus.
Stimulation of posterior hypothalamus results in
constriction of capillaries and arteriovenous anastomosis
Simultaneously as surface temperature decreases, core
temperature tries to maintain body temperature constant.
In order to control the vasoconstriction primary motor
center of posterior hypothalamus is activated.
This center than transmits signals, through bilateral tracts
down the brain stem in to the spinal cord, and finally to
anterior motor neurons of the site.
These signals increase the muscle activity throughout the
Heat production by metabolic system is increased.
Norepinephrine and epinephrine in blood secreted by
sympathetic stimulation trigger immediate increase in
glucocorticoid hormone and various chemicals to increase
rate of cellular metabolism.
Preoptic area of hypothalamus on cooling increases the
production of neurosecretory hormone, thyrotropin-releasing
This in turn stimulates the secretion of thyroid stimulating
hormone in anterior pituitary gland.
This in turn stimulates thyroxin.
Increase of circulating thyroxin increases rate of cellular
metabolism and chemical theromogensis.
and Effect of hot therapy
Hot application over particular parts of body or whole body
for appropriate time increase the surface temperature of
Increase in surface temperature stimulates warmth receptors.
Signals are carried through nerve fibers to sympathetic
centers of posterior hypothalamus. This inhibits posterior
Inhibition of posterior hypothalamus causes vasodilatation.
As surface temperature increases above certain point, core
temperature is affected. Effects of Vasodilatation
Improve blood flow.
Provides local warmth thus helps in tissue metabolism.
Remove waste products.
Decrease venous congestion.
Reduces blood viscosity, improves the delivery of
Lymphatic circulation increases due to increase in
permeability of capillary, which helps in removal of waste
product and increased nutrient to cell.
In order to maintain body temperature constant, preoptic
area of anterior hypothalamus excited and passes the impulse
of sweating to cord through autonomic pathways and then
through sympathetic nerves to skin.
Sweating is the process of removing excess heat from body.
Sodium and chloride ions are lost in profuse sweating.
During this process precursor fluid is secreted. They pass
through duct slowly so sodium and chloride ions are
reabsorbed and their concentration falls to low. This fall,
in concentration of ions reduces the osmotic pressure of
fluid to such a level that water is also reabsorbed.
Decrease concentration of sodium and chloride ions allows
progressively better conservation of salts.
Aldosterone is secreted as a result of decrease
concentration of sodium and chloride ions, which helps in
better conservation of salts.
This process helps in maintenance of electrolyte
Thus it helps in thermoregulation; it also helps in
excretion of some salts like ammonia and by products.
Note: - After Hot therapy, whole body cold bath is essential
to attain maximum effect.
Removal of waste material through large intestine
Distal part of colon and rectum are excretory organ for
solid waste material.
After digestion in small intestine, absorption of water and
electrolyte from chyme take place in proximal half of colon.
Feacal matter is store in distal half of colon.
When the mass movement forces faeces in to rectum, the
desire for defecation is normally initiated.
Faecal matter is composed of normally ¾th water and 1/4th
solid matter composed of dead bacteria, fat, inorganic
matter, protein, undigested roughage.
Anatomically the mucosa of large intestine is lined with
Crypts of Lieberkuhn but villi are absent.
Epithelial cells of large intestine do not secrete enzymes.
Surface epithelial of large intestine contains large number
of mucous cells dispersed among other epithelial cells,
which secrete only mucous. Large amount of mucous is
Active transport of bicarbonate ions takes place by
epithelial cells. The bicarbonate ions are present in large
quantity in this mucous.
Mucous in large intestine protects the wall against
excoriation and from bacterial activity that takes place
inside the faeces, also provides the adherent medium for
holding faecal matter together. Bicarbonate ions in mucous
maintains the alkalinity of secretion i.e. pH.
Normally the movement of colon is sluggish.
Unhealthy life style or habit of neglecting the normal calls
of defecation often leads to availability of faecal matter
storage for a long time for absorption of fluid.
This thing associated with large quantities of dry hard
faeces in descending colon.
When the dry hard faeces are stored in distal part of colon
for long time, the chyme that enters in proximal part of
colon is also available for long time.
Availability of faecal matter for long time results in
increased absorption of fluid, Ca++, Cl- and Na+.
Increase in absorption of Ca+ causes constipation, lack of
appetite, probably because of depressed contractility of
muscle wall of gastro intestinal tract.
This effect the short term regulatory and long term
regulatory system for feeding.
In order to maintain the pH and protect the wall from
bacterial action, the secretion of mucous increases.
At the same time movement of large intestine increases to
push forward the faecal matter.
All these factor leads to disturbed rhythm of large
intestine. As a remedy for these disturbances Enema is used
Treatment modalities in naturopathy
Hip bath, Mud pack, Mud bath, Whole body hot
bath/cold bath, Cold packs, Spinal pressure bath,
Chlorophyll bath, Sunbathe, Sauna bath, Steam bath, Hot foot
bath/cold foot bath, Hot and cold affusion.