WATER AND NATURE CURE
by C. Leslie Thomson
Naturopathic practice has a long and complex history, and among its origins
‘The Water Cure’ must be credited with a major contribution. This is not to say that we accept many of the teachings and beliefs of early ‘water curers ’, but it was among them that some of the essential principles of natural healing were
ﬁrst recognised. The idea of ‘ a cure ’ is anathema to those who practise what we call ‘ Straight Nature Cure ’ (which also has afﬁnities with what others call ‘ Hygienism ’ or ‘ Natural Hygiene ’), and in the early days -‐ just as in the present
-‐ many regarded water applications as a substitute for medication. Because the medicines of the times were violent and disagreeable, water applications were inclined in the same direction -‐ the motto of the day was ‘kill or cure ’.
Among a few more observant water-‐curers -‐ or hydrotherapists -‐ the saner idea gradually evolved of using some of the less harsh methods and combining these with sensible feeding and exercise. The results were encouraging, to say the least, and soon patients declared incurable by orthodox methods began to seek and receive help from hydropathic teachers. The movement developed in several directions, one of which was through Lindlahr’s school, from which the Kingston System is directly descended.