Naturopathic medicine is based on the philosophy of “Vis Medicatrix Naturae” (the healing power of nature) & applies the Laws of Nature to diagnose, prevent, & treat disease. The naturopathic physician realizes that illness is an imbalance at some level (physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual) & uses natural agents to restore that balance in the client. More than any other single method of treatment naturopathy is a multi-disciplinary approach to promoting natural health through the use of complementary therapies and alternative medicine.
The aim of a holistic doctor is to promote health rather than just treating disease symptoms. In many ways naturopathy is a philosophy of life rather than a set of fixed inflexible principles. One of the main aims of naturopathic doctors is to educate people towards improving their lifestyle to prevent further illness.
- Herbal Remedies;
- Remedial Massage;
are the main therapies used by a naturopath, with significant emphasis on:
- physical activity;
- fresh air;
- pure water.
Naturopathy has been used for hundreds of years & there now exists a large amount of scientific research, which proves the effectiveness of naturopathic medicine in the treatment of numerous health problems. Naturopathy evolved through observation and application of the lessons of nature. Its origins can be linked to observing the instinctive behaviour of animals when they are unwell, when they will search out certain plants to eat.
As complementary medicine has grown in popularity more and more research is confirming that it is holistic health care and a healthy lifestyle that is required for good overall health. The methods that naturopaths have used for many years in promoting natural health (especially dietary and nutritional measures) are now being confirmed and accepted by the research of mainstream medical doctors. Modern research is also confirming the importance of the relationships between, not only the physical but also the mental and emotional well-being of patients.
Although natural medicine had less impact in the 19th century when drugs and surgery were becoming established many forms of alternative medicine are now becoming more popular as people are realizing the importance and effectiveness of natural cures. Although Naturopathy remained a fringe therapy for a number of years as it was swamped by the political power of the orthodox medical profession a shift in health consciousness is now changing from pharmaceutical to natural remedies.
In ancient Greece, Hippocrates – the Father of Medicine – was one of the first people to understand the importance of natures own healing power. Hippocrates taught basic rules of hygiene and nutrition. He also recognized the significance of a fever as a manifestation of the body’s efforts to heal itself by killing off the bacteria that cannot survive when the body raises it’s temperature.
A naturopathic consultation generally takes longer than a visit to your mainstream doctor or other health practitioner. This is because the naturopath needs to understand as much as possible about you regarding your state of health. Some questions might include those relating to:
- Sensitivities or allergies to certain foods;
- Sensitivities or allergies to environmental factors;
- Home & work environment;
- Hereditary background;
As well as asking you numerous relevant questions about your health condition, a naturopath may utilize other diagnostic techniques such as;
- Vega testing, (allergy and electro-dermal diagnosis);
- Iridology (iris diagnosis);
- Kinesiology (muscle response testing);
- Tongue, fingernail or pulse diagnosis;
Examination of the spine for restrictions or mobility problems.
Any or all of these methods will be used to ascertain as detailed a case history as possible in order to create your personal and unique health profile.
It is important to realize that the naturopath places more emphasis on the reasons for the development of an illness than on putting a label on the symptoms.
Naturopathy treats the cause, not the effects. Having made a diagnosis, the naturopath then decides on a plan of action for restoring your body to good health. This usually takes the form of a program which can include lifestyle & dietary modification, relaxation therapy, exercise, counseling & patient education, as well as therapies or remedies which will help stimulate the body’s own healing capacity.
The naturopath may choose any of a variety of natural remedies or techniques to help restore your health. The choice will depend on your individual health needs. For example, five different arthritis sufferers might be treated in five different ways, one with homoeopathics, one with dietary advice & nutritional supplements, one with herbal remedies, one with remedial massage & one with a combination of these. Each person is an individual and in each case the cause of the arthritis may differ.
The naturopath treats the cause, not the effect!