Naturopathy is a complementary and alternative health approach that entails herbal medicine, diet habits and lifestyle, clinical nutrition, iridology, and specific mineral and vitamin therapy. Naturopaths favour an all-inclusive or holistic medicine approach to the diagnosis and treatment of a range of conditions. Naturopaths will try to find the least invasive treatment measures possible and will minimise the use of surgery and drugs.
A naturopath will include additional factors such as lifestyle, medical history, emotional tone, and physical features, as well as physical examination, during treatment. Naturopaths will often be able to relieve or control symptoms and conditions which have not responded to traditional Western medical practices or treatments. Naturopathic treatments include acupuncture, applied kinesiology, botanical medicine, brainwave entrainment, chelation therapy for atherosclerosis, colonic enemas, colour therapy, cranial osteopathy, hair analysis, homeopathy, iridology, live blood analysis, nature cure, nutrition, ozone therapy, physical medicine (includes naturopathic, osseous, and soft tissue manipulative therapy, sports medicine, exercise and hydrotherapy), psychological counselling and meditation, reflexology, rolfing, and traditional Chinese medicine.
Naturopaths can be split into two groups, naturopathic physicians and traditional naturopaths. Naturopathic physicians will have attained some level of tertiary qualification and industry accreditation. However in Australia there is no state licensing of naturopaths, with the industry being self-regulated. Whilst technically anyone can practise as a naturopath, there are a number of bodies which provide Australian and International Accreditation of sufficiently trained and qualified naturopaths. Currently the only registered types of natural medicine in Australia are those relating to Chinese medicine, and only in the state of Victoria.