Wed. May 29th, 2024

Professional profile and healing science of the alternative practitioner

The non-medical practitioner practices medicine professionally and on his own responsibility. Its activity for the determination, alleviation and healing of diseases is based on ideas and procedures from the tradition of naturopathy, which at all times proceeded in diagnostics and therapy according to the principle of wholeness, because they were oriented to the laws of nature, including the inner nature of the human being.

Thus the naturopathy of the Heilpraktiker is basically independent of time currents, system constraints or the prevailing scientific image, although the Heilpraktiker naturally takes into account scientifically proven research results and findings in his work.

The healing science of the alternative practitioner

Naturopathy is based on a concept of nature, which is expressed in the fact of life. The most perfect possible preservation of life through self-organizing systems and principles of order seems to be the ultimate goal of creation for the naturopath.

Respect for these overall connections, which are recognized as meaningful, determine his thinking and actions. He sees the perceptible changes in his patients as an expression of changing external and internal conditions and causes and tries to grasp these holistically in their overall contexts, to evaluate and order them according to the criteria of his naturopathic model. He will inform the patient in the sense of the order therapy about the connections of his suffering, promote his knowledge about this and treat him according to the naturopathic model (lege artis).

Health is for the alternative practitioner the preservation of the integrity of a personality in its mind-body-soul unity. The self-healing powers are not special or specific powers, but expressions of the general healing power of nature, which are based in the life force of a personality.

The vital force is the action of a more or less consensual and harmonious interaction of all organic structures, functions, energies, information, spiritual and mental forces. In contrast to the clearly determinable quantity, the vital force is a quality concept. Their characteristics can be judged only by the behavior of a total personality.

A holistic system basically possesses functional properties that none of its parts possess and that can only be explained by the interconnectedness of its elements and elemental processes.

The stability and integrity of a biological holistic system is protected and secured in such a way that one cause alone is usually not able to disturb it. For this, a certain complex and spectrum of causative and disturbing conditions is required, which can no longer be compensated by the holistic system and lead to disturbances of health and disease.

Therefore, naturopathic therapy aims at restoring health to the disturbed biological system through self-organization by eliminating the conditions that cause, maintain and promote disease.

The alternative practitioner therefore not only establishes the disease as an objective fact, but also directs his attention to the overall person of the sick person, who becomes the focus of attention for the findings about the course of the disease also prognostically.

In addition to anamnestic and clinical data, the Heilpraktiker uses the evaluation of constitution, temperament, disposition and diathesis to gain knowledge of the disturbed integrity of a patient. The typical qualitatively assessing naturopathic diagnostic procedures, such as the use of the natural healing method, come into play here.B. the eye diagnosis, the pulse diagnosis, or also bioenergetic procedures to the employment.

His resulting therapeutic considerations are aimed at favoring the self-healing powers to a natural healing process:

  • whether it is a matter of unloading and detoxification of the organism through Aus and Ableitungsmethoden,
  • whether it is by simulating disturbances intended to condition through exercise to improved adaptation, as in homeopathy or hydrotherapy,
  • whether it is done by specific excitation of compensatory systems, as in humoral pathology and physiotherapy,
  • whether the treatment is aimed at the equally biological correspondences and similarities in the human being through a similarly biological systematics, as it happens beyond the pure materiality in phytotherapy, biochemistry and spagyric,
  • whether the aim of the therapy is to protect the systems, as in a special diet or way of life,
  • whether it is a question of the possibilities recognized after a constitutional diagnosis in relation to the development of potential genetic possibilities, as in behavioral, socio- or psychotherapy, or
  • whether it is about the many other forms of application of regulatory-naturopathic therapeutic and medicinal applications of mineral, herbal or animal origin.

The healer always stimulates the natural self-healing powers in his treatment. The variety of new diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities, which serve this goal and can find entrance into the treatment spectrum of the welfare practical man, are also in the future no borders set. Decisive is only whether procedures correspond to the theory of naturopathy and „lege artis“ can be applied according to the rules of art.

The relationship to the patient

Since the patient in his holistic personality is in the center of naturopathic considerations, a relationship results between naturopath and patient, which is characterized by mutual esteem and mutual respect.

The alternative practitioner sees himself less as a professional authority for disease repair, but rather as a fellow human being of the person seeking help. The alternative practitioner assumes that the patient who finds his way to him brings with him essential characteristics of his illness: appearance, gait, gestures, speech, dynamics, smell and, of course, the reported symptoms of the condition.

The alternative practitioner opens himself to the patient, accepts him, listens to him. He links and structures his observations and what he reports with his patterns of experience, in order to derive his therapeutic procedure from it on the one hand, and on the other hand to enlighten the patient about the connections of his problems and to win him over for an active and co-responsible support in the therapeutic efforts.

The behavior of the alternative practitioner towards his patient is characterized by professional and human commitment with the aim of stimulating the patient to the same commitment for a healthy, reasonable and the recognized diseases, constitutional weaknesses appropriate lifestyle in the sense of an order therapy.

In a trust developed through many years of experience, it is the goal of the alternative practitioner to build up such a personal relationship with his patient and to get to know him so well that he can fulfill the responsibility of being a counselor in all problems of disturbed integrity with a clear conscience.

The alternative practitioner feels himself to be a suitable contact person and a meaningful addition to an enlightened citizen in our society who shares responsibility for his own health.


The alternative practitioner has primarily the task to fulfill the individual health needs of the citizens, beyond the offer of the official medical need coverage of the health care system, complementary and alternatively.

In this way, it also fulfills a social function: in its own areas of health care, it prevents a monopoly position of institutionalized medicine that is inappropriate for our democratically pluralistic society, and practically forms a regulatory function in which not only the freedom of therapy is sensibly preserved through its work, but also the freedom of choice of the citizen for a therapist he personally prefers.

This sociological function is fulfilled by the Heilpraktiker as an independent practitioner, regardless of whether some of his therapies achieve scientific recognition and/or find their way into general medicine. In addition, it completes the spectrum of naturopathic procedures over evtl. methods also adopted by scientific medicine and, with this offer, again makes an indispensable contribution to the freedom and diversity of therapy.

In addition, the non-medical practitioner, through his own kind of medicine, also fulfills tasks for public health, in which he basically encourages his patients to lead a healthy lifestyle, especially in the area of nutrition.

Furthermore, especially in times of scientific dogmatism in medicine, the task of preserving traditional and pure naturopathy fell to him. The Heilpraktiker has taken over the care of the tradition of this important cultural heritage of our people and keeps it alive to this day in theory and practice, especially in areas that are dogmatically suppressed or ignored by official medicine.

Development and history of medicine

There have always been people who have been able to help sick people more successfully than others, a circumstance that was attributed to their natural healing ability. It is considered, in addition to learnability and ability, to this day as a desirable quality for the profession of the Heilpraktiker.

Healers with such a basic premise existed at all times and in all cultures with their world view, according to the different expression of their „medical model“.

In our cultural area, the healing science, on which the non-medical practitioner still relies today, is based on the teachings of the humors of Greek antiquity, which have essentially survived through the Middle Ages into the humoral pathology of modern times.

This conceptual model, in which herbal medicine was integrated from the beginning, proved to be extremely successful. Even if since the foundation of universities with the scholastic medicine there was beside the healing practitioners from the people the treatment by university physicians, nevertheless both proceeded for a long time from common basic conceptions in the welfare medicine.

It was not until the recognition of Virchow’s cellular pathology in the last century that academic medical medicine and naturopaths went their separate ways in their ideas of disease and health.

As a reaction to the new scientific medicine was formed at the end of the 19th century. At the beginning of the twentieth century, empirical medicine was also newly established with the commandment to follow the path of nature in its healing methods, to treat as naturally as possible, and in any case to do no harm.

This healing science was fed by 3 sources:

  • 1. the spiritual-philosophical movement of the late 18th century. Century,
  • 2. the folk medicine movement at the beginning of the 19th century. From the beginning of the twentieth century,
  • 3. the impulses that drew on ancient ideas.

Hahnemann’s homeopathy, which had practically no place in scientific medicine, was recognized from the very beginning by these naturopathic practitioners and integrated into their healing activities, which essentially helped it to achieve its current spread and popularity.

The whole development since the Middle Ages is exemplified by names like:

  • Abbess Hildegard of Bingen as the most notable representative of monastic medicine, whose healing science was also imbued with deep mysticism.
  • Paracelsus as a representative of a universal and wide-ranging healing activity via alchemy to spagyric medicine.
  • Farmer Vincenz Prießnitz as the founder of hydropathy and inventor of the Prießnitz compress, which is still highly valued today.
  • Fuhrmann Johann Schroth as representative of the welfare fasting and the Diätetik with its Schrothkur.
  • Priest Sebastian Kneipp, which stands for the renewal and expansion of aquatic healing and a healthy lifestyle, u.a. with his fundamental work „Thus shall you live“.
  • Pastor Emanuel Felke, who received the epithet „clay pastor“ because of his clay baths. He can be regarded as the father of the Heilpraktiker in a special way because of his wide-ranging naturopathic activity. His emphasis was on such heilpraktikertypische procedures as eye diagnosis, herbal medicine and homeopathy, from which he also developed for the first time a complex remedy system.

From antiquity to modern times there were no limits to the free practice of medicine. In the broad population circles this happened predominantly by the Heilkundigen from the layman state.

Here the old methods were continuously developed and led to the new methods of the 19. Century.

The abolition of the general Kurierfreiheit 1851, ended the previous legal status, but could not inhibit the further development decisively.

After the reintroduction of the courier freedom in 1869, the differently oriented healers formed, such as z.B. Herbal healers, Knochenrenker, homeopaths and magnetopaths, continuously to a profession.

Joint activities in the emerging public health movements, as well as the founding of training centers and professional associations, were an indication of the final formation of a new profession.

The Heilpraktiker law of 1939 regulated the further activity of the Heilpraktiker with an official permit and defined the professional title HEILPRAKTIKER (healer). The further granting of permission could be acquired only in particularly justified exceptional cases.

In 1952, this restriction, which amounted to a quasi ban on training and admission, was lifted as incompatible with the Basic Law.

The Heilpraktikergesetz thus became the legal basis for the „permission to practice medicine without being certified as a doctor“.

Further information: Heilpraktiker self-study.

Heilpraktiker study Wuppertal – Education and training since 1984
Teacher’s Training Center
Ltg. Klaus J. Benner, alternative practitioner,
D- 42275 Wuppertal
Berlin Str. 125
Telephone: 0202-646323