The methods of treatment used in the science of Naturopathy or Nature-cure include baths, packs, massage, enema, fasting and regulation of diet.
Hip-bath: Hip-bath is the most commonly used bath in Naturopathy. Baths energize the internal system by revitalizing the circulation of blood by its contact with cold water, applied scientifically within the body. Hip-bath is performed in a tub, specially made for this bath. It is a raised tub, with back seat. The tub is filled to a depth of 6 inches, so as to enable you to sit in it with water coming just upto navel, i.e. to cover the portion of the abdomen containing the colon or large intestine. The purpose is to apply cold only to the lower part of the abdomen, in comparison with the rest of the body, which is kept warm.
Steam-bath: Steam-baths are given in a small wooden cabin with a chair to seat the patient. The cabin had a hole at the top, to keep the head out of it. The cabin is airtight, with a cloth wound around the neck to let no steam escape from the cabin. The patient has no clothes on except underwear. The steam is put on and enters the cabin through a tube. The bath is meant for seven minutes, except in case it is unbearable. After the patient comes out, his sweat is wiped and is taken for a cold shower bath.
Hot-foot bath: The person is made to sit on the chair with his cloths on and a blanket covering his whole body except the head, which is covered with a wet towel. A glass of water is served to the person before the bath. His legs are immersed in a tub, covered by the blanket, containing tolerable hot water. As the water loses heat, some water is taken off and equal amount of hot water is added to keep the temperature of water constant.
Hot-and-cold bath: These baths are generally given in a closed chamber. There are two buckets – one containing tolerable hot water and other normal cold water. The bath is preceded by dry massage, i.e. rubbing the parts of body in direction of the heart. First the hot water is poured over the body, about two mugs, followed by four mugs of cold water. The process is repeated, concluding with cold water.
Sun-bath: The best time for sun-bath is in the morning, usually within 2 hours after sunrise. Sun-bath should be taken without any clothes or with just underwear for about 15-20 minutes. One needs to lie down on soft ground or a carpet, keep eyes closed and take the sun-rays fully on the whole body. The sun-bath that is taken to cure various ailments is usually taken when the sun is quite hot, to enable the body to get complete perspiration. The head is covered with a towel and the bath is taken with the clothes on. One needs to have a glass of cold water before having such a bath.
Mud packs: To get the mud, the earth is dug up at a clean place, and the mud is picked up from 4 to 6 inches beneath the surface. The mud is then sieved and made wet with water, making it as thick as dough. The prepared mud is then spread over a thick cloth placed on a wooden plate. The cloth is then placed over the affected part, thus covering it fully with mud. A piece of woolen cloth is then wrapped over the mud pack, enabling the cold effect of the mud to last longer.
Wet-sheet pack: Wet-sheet pack is very useful in bringing down the fever. For this, a bed sheet is drenched in cold water and squeezed. The wet bed sheet is then spread on the patient’s empty bed. The patient is made to lie on the bed sheet without any clothes and the bed sheet is wrapped around his body completely, leaving out only the face. The head is covered with a wet towel. Now the wrapped up body is completely covered with one or two blankets.
Enema: Usually enema is given before going on a fast or for treating constipation and related ailments. Types of enema include cold-water enema, also called Tonic Enema, since it tones up the muscles of the large intestine. It is usually given for cleaning the colon. In herbal enema, the water is boiled with herbs like Neem leaves and cooled before it is used. Lemon juice is also added to water used for enema.
Fasting: Fasting is considered as one of the most important methods of Nature-cure. In Naturopathy, fasting is practiced for letting the nature perform its cleaning process in the body, without any hindrance and any additional load of food to digest. The digestive organs are given rest, to enable them to regain their health and working efficiency. Types of fast include: complete fast, partial fast, fasting on milk, fast on all-fruit diet, fast on restricted diet, etc. the fast may last from 3-7 days and may even extend to 10 days.
Massage: Massage helps in improved blood circulation in the body, which helps in effective elimination of toxic waste from our body. Massage can usually be oil massage or dry massage. In oil massage, mostly mustard oil is used. In both types of massage, the direction is always towards the heart, i.e. downwards from the head and upwards from the feet. A dry massage before a cold bath leads to maximum benefits from the bath.
Regulation of diet: According to Naturopathy, we can treat many ailments simply by changing our daily diet and regulating it in a proper way. Eating natural foods has a cleansing and purifying effect on our body and also helps us in warding off diseases. It should be noted that for a balanced diet, our diet should be alkaline rich. Acidic food leads to build up of greater levels of toxic waste in our body, making our body more prone to various ailments. Hence to make the pH of our blood more alkaline, we need to increase intake of vegetables and fruits, especially leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek, etc. Naturopathy advocates intake of strictly vegetarian diet. Dairy products like milk, cheese, yoghurt are allowed; but ghee is barred. Naturally extracted oils like olive oil, mustard oil may be used in limited quantity.