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Australian naturopathic medicine

This article describes the journey of naturopathic medicine in Australian throughout the 20th century.
A map of Australia.
© Courtesy of Pixabay 2023.

Compared to Europe and the US, Australian naturopathic medicine primarily began in the 20th century, specifically during 1910 – 1940.

The emergence of naturopathic medicine in Australia can be captured within the three pillars of Australian naturopathic history (i.e., the emergence period, post-war period, and boom period); these pillars were particular points in time when several Australian naturopathic pioneers had made a considerable impact on the profession Ooi et al., 2018. Each naturopathic pioneer influenced and contributed to various areas of naturopathic medicine, from developing regional and rural health clinics to retail developments (i.e., within health food shops), herbal medicine hospitals, and training the next generation of naturopaths. Like the USA, Australian naturopathic practice was entwined with manual therapies, primarily osteopathy and chiropractic; however, herbalism was deeply popular among Australian naturopathic medicine and the general population. This naturopathic discipline can be considered the backbone of Australian naturopathic medicine, which led to the development of the first herbal medicine association during the 1920s Hechtman, 2014.

Over the next 15 – 20 years, Australia began to see the naturopathic pioneers of Australian naturopathic medicine which included Frederick Roberts and Maurice Blackmore. The post-war period was a time of great innovation, including the development a herbal medicine teaching hospital. However, it was also a time when naturopathic medicine faced many barriers to advancing its practice, with state governments regularly hindering the practice of naturopathic medicine. These barriers did not dishearten the Australian naturopathic pioneers, with some individuals establishing naturopathic clinics throughout metropolitan and regional Victoria. This included Alf Jacka, who also led the establishment of the first naturopathic college in Victoria in 1961 with the support of Maurice Blackmore (Hechtman, 2014). Judy Jacka carried the evolution of this college, becoming a leader in the profession for the next 60 years (Baer, 2013). This short video provides an overview of the contributions Judy Jacka made during her time from the establishment of one of the first higher education institutions and her books that have been used in teaching naturopathic philosophy.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

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Fundamentals of Naturopathic Medicine

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