Principles and Practice of Naturopathy (1925): Chapter 2

E.W. Cordingley, A.M., Ph.D.
September 15, 2004

For the purposes of convenience we will divide Naturopathy into the mechanical, material, and psychological, in accordance with the plan of Dr. Louis Blumer, the able Naturopathic pioneer of New England, and we will designate each of these by the terms, Mechanical Naturopathy, Material Naturopathy, and Psychological Naturapathy.

MECHANICAL NATUROPATHY will include all manual methods of overcoming lesions of bones, ligaments, muscles and other structures. We will not designate these methods as osteopathy, chiropractic, naprapathy, mechano-therapy, etc., as we consider such terms arbitray [sic]. What is now known us osteopathy was really practiced two hundred years before the name osteopathy was known in parts of Scandinavia; what are now called chiropractic and napropathy were practiced a hundred and fifty years before these names were heard of, in Bohemia i and what is known as mechano-therapy today has been practiced in China, Japan, Egyt [sic], the South Sea Islands and other parts of the earth since long before the dawn of the Christian era. It is true, of course, .hat these various systems have undergone much development and modification at the hands of rather recent therapeutics” but the basic principle underlying each system was not new when such “systems” appeared under the names we are now familiar with. Those old-time natural healers were in reality Naturopaths, regardless of what they called themselves, and those men of more recent times who have developed these “branches” were really making developments in the mechanical sphere of Naturopathy.

We would furthermore like to have it distinctly understood that we do not consider that we have adopted any technic and applied the name “Naturopathy” to it from any present day “system.” We feel that the original research that we have done has enabled us to go back before the time of osteopathy, chiropractic, etc., to select the technic that we are here describing, and which we have “woven into the wool and woof” of Naturopathy. For that reason a Naturopath who is using this technic in his practice cannot be rightly charged with practicing any other system under/the name of Naturopathy. We desire to stress this point because some osteopathic, chiropractic and other State’ Licensing Boards may attempt to obtain jurisdiction over Naturopathic practitioners, and we feel that that would be as unjust as if the case were reversed. Naturopathy is truly a distinct school of practice. It is in reality the oldest drugless school of healing in existence. It is no part of the practice of medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic or any other method, and the only kind of a State Board that has a moral right to examine a Naturopath to determine his right to practice is a Board made up of nothing but Naturopaths. We do not demand that medical doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, lawyers, ministers, civil engineers, pharmacists, embalmers or members of any other profession submit their credentials to us to determine their right to practice, and we consider our profession so separate and distinct from all of theirs that we request the same rights that we concede to them.

In spite of the high-sounding and conflicting theories advanced by each enthusiast of the present-day systems, there is just one thing that they can accomplish that will result in curing disease, and that is an acceleration of the blood stream and a consequent throwing off of impurities through the depurative organs. They may claim to do something” else, but despite their claims, it is only as they “purify the inner temple” that they eradicate disease.

MATERIAL NATUROPATHY will include all such methods that tend toward normalizing the supply of elements to the tissues of the body. As is well known, the human body is composed of seventeen elements, and it has been found that in certain diseases these elements are often in improper combination, or deficient. For instance, in tuberculosis silicon, calcium and iron are deficient in amount, anti if food is selected that will supply this deficiency, more assurance of a recovery can be had.

As Hydrotherapy, Hydropathy, Hydriatic Treatment, or the Water Cure, as it is variously called, tends toward the re-arrangement of elements in some instances, we will for convenience include this method in Material Naturopathy.

Some forms of electricity as used in therapeutics would for the same reason be included in Material Naturopathy. Particularly is this true of Galvanism. However, most electrical modalities have a purely physical or mechanical effect, so for the sake of convenience all electrical modalities will be dealth [sic] with under the head of Mechanical Naturopathy.

PSYCHOLOGICAL NATUROPATHY includes suggestions of various types. It will be acknowledged by all earnest investigators that the mind to a considerable extent controls the functional activity of the body, or is capable of doing so. I will not go into great detail in this department of our Science, because so much that is impractical has already been foisted on a trusting public under the name of psychology that I do not want to exaggerate the offense. I believe that suggestion is the best cure of all for imaginary diseases, and that a cheerful frame of mind will go a long way toward assisting in a recovery, but when a tortoise-shell spectacled “nice old lady” of either sex tells us that We can eat decayed meat like a Fuegian, sleep in an air-tight hut like a Laplander, sew our underwear on for the winter like an Eskimo, wear three-inch heels like an American “society lady,” dance all night long like a “sheik” and spend our work hours with our ribs cutting into our abdomen like a clerk, and still maintain perfect health if we keep the “right mental state,” then that high-brow “metaphysician” and we part company.

We believe in suggestion heartily, but we also believe in a common-sense combination of all natural, God-given agencies for the pro-motion of health and the cure of disease. We have tried to keep the Section on Psychological Naturopathy free from all fanaticism, and if some of our views are at variance with those of the reader, we will most humbly ask for your forbearance.

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This page was posted on September 15, 2004.