Naturopathy believes in vitalism (a vital energy or vital force) that is generated by the body and promotes all metabolism, reproduction, adaptation, and repair. Based on this concept, naturopathy espouses that the body has the desire and ability to heal itself, but one must first remove the obstacles that contributed to the lack of health, and then apply both a lifestyle of health and appropriate therapies that work to promote the body's return to health.
Naturopathy philosophy embraces the ideology of Vis Medicatrix Naturae, Latin for "the healing power of nature" i.e. the body knows how to return to and maintain health if given the opportunity.
Naturopathy is a system of healthcare that promotes both the prevention of disease and the return to health, but unlike most other formalized healthcare systems, it does not employ one specific therapy; rather it utilizes a wide variety of natural modalities. It emphasizes patient education, the giving of the patient personal responsibility for positive lifestyle changes, and the application of any number of alternative or non-allopathic modalities that best to fit each patient's needs for the return and maintenance of health.
The naturopath evaluates his/her patient's health through various methods such as case history, computerized questionnaires, blood tests, biomeridian testing, hair analysis. Based on the test findings, recommendations are given to the patient relative lifestyle changes including diet, exercise, etc. Appropriate food supplements are recommended, as well as any needed therapies such as colonic irrigations, juice fasting, homeopathy, massage, etc.
The goal of the naturopath is not replace allopathic medicine when it is needed, but to educate the patient of negative lifestyle practices they may be engaging in that produced their health problems, and point them in the direction of health restoring and maintaining lifestyle.