Nature Doctors

The Nature Doctors were true pioneers practicing holistic and preventative medicine long before these terms became fashionable. Their wisdom, which is captured in the book Nature Doctors, can still...

By Friedhelm Kirchfield, Wade Boyle


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The Nature Doctors were true pioneers practicing holistic and preventative medicine long before these terms became fashionable. Their wisdom, which is captured in the book Nature Doctors, can still offer inspiration and guidance for the practice of modern medicine, naturopathic or otherwise.

The first part of Nature Doctors focuses on the pivotal figures of the European nature cure movement- gifted healers and fascinating personalities, such as the peasant Priessnitz, the water cure genius of Grafenberg, who attracted Europe's high society and such celebrities as Chopin and Gogol to her renowned establishment; Fathere Kneipp, whose methods still flourish in dozens of German Kneipp spas and resorts; the Swiss "sun doctor" Rikli; the "clay pastor" Felke, and Bismark's personal physician, Dr. Schweniger. Almost all of them discovered their system of nature cure as a last resort for their own suffering from an "incurable" illness.

The second part of Nature Doctors is devoted to the great representatives of naturopathy: Benedict and Louisa Lust, who established naturopathy in America by combining European nature cure with homeopathy, massage, spinal manipulation, therapeutic electricity and other emerging natural therapies; Henry Lindlahr, the founder of scientific naturopathy; Thomson and Lief, their British counterparts; Otis G. Carroll, the inventor of constitutional hydrotherapy; Dr. Koegler and Dr. Boucher, two eminent Canadian nature doctors, and finally John Bastyr, the father of modern naturopathic medicine. Modern naturopathic medicine can look back on a proud tradition which has its roots in the European nature cure movement of the nineteenth century.

This movement called for the return to nature and her remedies: water, air, light, a vegetarian diet, fasting, and herbs. It offered a true alternative to the drugging abuses, heroic bloodletting procedures and the therapeutic nihilism prevailing at the time. Nature Doctors contains an extensive bibliography, an index, and contact information for North American schools of naturopathic medicine.

351 pages

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