They say an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure, so if you’re not feeling 100% or keen to blend natural approaches into your health care, then a visit to a qualified, registered Naturopath might fit the bill.
When used in combination with conventional medicine (that’s essential) Naturopathy offers an approach to health & wellbeing that focuses on organic foods, exercise & maintaining a balanced lifestyle. It’s about prevention, education & empowering you to take proactive care of your health & helping the body return to optimum health.
What to expect
At your first session the Naturopath will examine every aspect of your health & ask questions about your personal & family history, diet, lifestyle as well as previous medical or naturopathic treatments (they’ve seen it all so don’t hold back). There will also be naturopathic testing (a physical examination). The session gives the Naturopath a solid overview of your health & goals so they can design a comprehensive treatment strategy for you.
Your treatment strategy is typically presented at a subsequent session so your Naturopath can talk you thru the plan in detail, provide you with insights & education around dietary as well as lifestyle recommendations – the plan may also include herbal remedies & nutritional supplements.
Following a naturopathic treatment plan has helped many people take the next step toward health, wellness & feeling whole again.
The roots of naturopathic medicine go back thousands of years, drawing on the healing wisdom of many cultures including Indian (Ayurvedic), Chinese (Taoist), Greek (Hippocratic), Arabian, Egyptian & European (monastic medicine) traditions. With the age of scientific inquiry, medicine took on exciting dimensions & developed new tools for fighting disease. In fact, many older time-tested healing and health maintenance methods were discarded at a rapid rate as doctors began treating disease almost solely with surgery & drugs. Some practitioners in Europe & America, however, perceived that valuable, empirically proven natural therapies were being lost & struggled to retain the practice of promoting health through stimulation of the vital force & the rational use of natural agents.
As a distinct American health care profession, naturopathic medicine is 100 years old, tracing its origins to Dr. Benedict Lust. Dr. Lust came to the United States from Germany to practice & teach the hydrotherapy techniques popularised by Sebastian Kneipp in Europe.
A committee of Kneipp practitioners met in 1900 & determined that the practice should be expanded to incorporate all natural methods of healing, including botanical medicines, nutritional therapy, physiotherapy, psychology (mind–body connection), homeopathy & the manipulative therapies. They called their profession “Naturopathy.” The first school of naturopathy was founded by Dr. Lust in New York City & graduated its first class in 1902.
The practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six principles of healing:
The healing power of nature — vis medicatrix naturae
The body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain & restore health. The healing process is ordered & intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician’s role is to facilitate & augment this process, to identify & remove obstacles to health & recovery & to support the creation of a healthy internal & external environment.
Identify and treat the cause — tolle causam
Illness does not occur without cause. Underlying causes of disease must be discovered & removed or treated before a person can recover completely from illness. Symptoms are expressions of the body’s attempt to heal, but are not the cause of disease; therefore, naturopathic medicine addresses itself primarily to the underlying causes of disease, rather than to the symptoms. Causes may occur on many levels, including physical, mental-emotional & spiritual. The physician must evaluate fundamental underlying causes on all levels, directing treatment at root causes as well as seeking relief of symptoms.
First do no harm — primum no nocere
The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms, which are, in fact, expressions of the life force attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complementary to & synergistic with this healing process. The physician’s actions can support or antagonise the actions of vis medicatrix naturae; therefore, methods designed to suppress symptoms without removing underlying causes are considered harmful & are avoided or minimised.
Treat the whole person — in perturbato animo sicut in corpore sanitas esse non potest
Health & disease are conditions of the whole organism, involving a complex interaction of physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental & social factors. The physician must treat the whole person by taking all of these factors into account. The harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual is essential to recovery from & prevention of disease & requires a personalised & comprehensive approach to diagnosis & treatment.
The physician as teacher — docere
Beyond an accurate diagnosis & appropriate prescription, the physician must work to create a healthy, sensitive interpersonal relationship with the patient. A cooperative doctor–patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value. The physician’s major role is to educate & encourage the patient to take responsibility for his or her own health. The physician is a catalyst for healthful change, empowering & motivating the patient to assume responsibility. It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately creates or accomplishes healing. The physician must strive to inspire hope as well as understanding. The physician must also make a commitment to her/his personal & spiritual development.
Prevention — principiis obsta: sero medicina curatur
The ultimate goal of naturopathic medicine is prevention. This is accomplished through education & promotion of lifestyle habits that foster good health. The physician assesses risk factors & hereditary susceptibility to disease then makes appropriate interventions to avoid further harm or risk to the patient. The emphasis is on building health rather than on fighting disease. Because it is difficult to be healthy in an unhealthy world, it is the responsibility of both physician & patient to create a healthier environment in which to live.
Note: MojoGuru does not recommend any treatment, therapy or particular provider. We do not recommend that you self-diagnose. If you are suffering from a health condition and before starting a new treatment or therapy, we do recommend that you first consult a GP. More