Is there a difference between Heilkunst and Naturopathy?

When exploring natural approaches to health care, patients find that there are a number of apparent similarities between the fields of Medical Heilkunst and Naturopathy.  They both use a variety of natural treatments and remedies, and they both require a minimum of four years of post-secondary education, and are then governed by the rules and regulations of their particular professional associations.

There are, however, very significant differences in terms of their underlying philosophies of health and which approaches to use to best get there.  The basic approach in Naturopathic training is to introduce the student to a variety of natural approaches and techniques (such as herbalism, homeopathy, and a sampling of body work modalities), which ultimately leads different Naturopathic practitioners to gravitate towards different areas of specialization based on their personal inclinations and interests.  While there is a good basis of knowledge here, at its worst, it can lead to an Allopathic “trial and error” approach to health care that focuses on the elimination of symptoms rather than the expansion of the underlying state of health.

Training in Medical Heilkunst also includes an awareness of a variety of techniques and approaches, but everything is taught and practiced within the context of an underlying philosophy of knowledge and a rational scientific framework based on the universal laws of nature related to curing and healing.  This means that everything applied to the patient, such as a homeopathic remedy or nutritional advice, for example, is continuously evaluated against their overall state of health, and whether or not it is moving forward while symptoms and conditions are being eliminated.  The elimination of a symptom is not necessarily a good sign for the patient, depending on the basis on which it was achieved – a curative response, as well as a suppressive one may both lead to the disappearance of a symptom, but only one of these modes is good for the underlying health of the patient.

Also, while Naturopaths do receive some training in how to use Homeopathic remedies, it is taught within the commonly known “Classical Homeopathy” school of thought (See FAQ : “What is the difference between Heilkunst and Classical Homeopathy“).  The training in Medical Heilkunst, by contrast, goes much more deeply into the use of Homeopathic remedies not only for the relief of symptoms, but in the permanent removal of the disease causes which gave rise to those symptoms in the first place.