What is Naturopathic Medicine ?
Naturopathic Medicine is the system of primary health care which works with the individuals’ efforts towards the optimal expression of physiological, nutritional, and mental/emotional health.
What is a Naturopath
A Naturopath is a person who applies treatment modalities based on the principles of naturopathic medicine.
Naturopathy is an approach to health care which aims to promote, restore, and maintain health. The following principles underpin the practise of naturopathy:
- The Healing Power of Nature or Vis Medicatrix Naturae: There is a ‘vital force’ or ‘life force’ which drives the self-healing or self-correcting mechanisms of the body.
- The Triad of Health: There is a connection and interaction between the structural, biochemical, and mental/emotional components of all living beings. Dysfunction in one area invariably leads to disruption elsewhere.
- The Uniqueness of the Individual: People are genetically, bio chemically, structurally, and emotionally different from one another. Each person responds in a unique way to influences whether they are mental/emotional, structural, nutritional, social, or cultural.
Naturopaths also recognise that:
- Health is more than the absence of disease. It is dependent upon a multitude of factors and reflects a harmonious interaction with our environment.
- Acute disease processes are different from chronic processes. The acute response is the body’s attempt to restore health often through enhanced processes of elimination. Suppression of such healing processes contributes to the potential for chronic breakdown.
- Disease processes involve activation of the body’s homeostatic mechanisms. Health is homeostasis – a dynamic equilibrium.
- The individual requires suitable foods for nourishment, clean water, fresh air and sunlight, as well as appropriate exercise, rest and relaxation.
- Prevention is preferable to cure.
The defining elements of naturopathic practise are that naturopaths:
- Work with the body’s own self-correcting mechanisms or efforts to maintain homeostasis.
- Endeavor to address all aspects of the Triad of Health.
- Regard education and co-operation of the patient as highly as treatment of the patient.
- Address lifestyle factors which are contributing to the problem and re-educate the patient into a lifestyle more conducive to health.
• Aim to establish health on a cellular level by improving circulation and enervation, nutrition, detoxification, and elimination.
What does Naturopathic treatment involve ?
Naturopaths use a variety of treatments. These include dietary advice, nutritional supplements, detoxification, hands on work (such as osteopathy and massage), herbs, homeopathic remedies and hydrotherapy.
NUTRITION: optimum health through good food
HYDROTHERAPY: hot and cold-water treatments to encourage circulation
DETOXIFICATION: cleansing programs to allow healing to take place
PHYSICAL THERAPY: to restore structural balance and improve tissue tone
Your naturopath will look at all aspects of your lifestyle that may adversely affect your health.
What Happens when you consult a Naturopath ?
The first visit is to find out about you. You will be asked detailed questions about your current illness, past medical history, eating habits and lifestyle. Stress levels and biomechanical factors are taken into account.
Naturopaths use various ways to assess your health. Some may use iridology, allergy testing, applied kinesiology and laboratory tests.
These help naturopaths discover why you are ill and how you can get better.
Ref: British Naturopathic Association