What is Naturopathy?
If you are unfamiliar with the word Naturopathy, you are not alone! Although its principles date back to the 16th century BC, the coining of the term is a relatively new concept
Naturopathy is a unique system of healthcare that blends traditional forms of healing with modern scientific knowledge. This results in a natural and non-invasive approach to health and to the prevention of illness.
Naturopathy encompasses the use of nutrition, herbal medicine, homoeopathy, iridology and lifestyle management to create the best internal environment for you to live in. The application of these modalities not only vary for each individual, but also within the different stages of each individual’s life. Essentially, it is the adaption of a naturopathic philosophy that is of the utmost importance, and is perhaps the main duty of the practitioner to inspire this system of thinking to each of their clients.
The Principles of Naturopathy
Naturopathy is governed by 6 principles. They are the basis of this system of healthcare and must be abide to by each practitioner with every client
The Healing Power of Nature
The body has a natural ability to heal. The role of the naturopath is to discover what obstacles are standing in the way of achieving balance and then to facilitate the removal of these. This power of nature is not confined to human beings, but is true of every micro and macro-environment in which this world exists. We must respect and appreciate the beauty of nature’s balance, and recognize that we are not the rulers, but a part of this delicate relationship
first Do No Harm
Naturopathic philosophy applies the ‘less is more’ principle. Treatment programs must be non-invasive, avoid the suppression of symptoms and only prescribe the least amount of medicine required
Identify and Treat the Cause
Symptoms of dis-ease are indicators that there is something out of balance either on a physical, emotional or spiritual level. Naturopaths are health detectives, whose purpose is to determine the root of the problem and treat holistically
Treat The Whole Person
Naturopathy is based on the interconnection of all things. This includes not only the client’s body as a whole, but also all aspects of our environments. When treating a client, the practitioner will address all the possible influencing factors including the social, occupational, familial and spiritual environments. This comprehensive treatment method establishes life-long health as a prime goal, and reiterates the importance of The Healing Power of Nature
Doctor As Teacher
One of the main objectives of a Naturopath is to facilitate education. Inevitably the responsibility of making and sustaining recommended changes lies with the client, but the motivation, inspiration and empowerment needed for these changes are the naturopath’s role as teacher. The delegation of knowledge and reasoning to the client is paramount to creating healthier generations to come
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
Unfortunately managing a dis-ease or illness is usually the initial reason for a client to seek a naturopath. However, once this obstacle has been passed, the client and practitioner can then center their attention on the prevention of future illness through application of a positive health-focused lifestyle
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates 400 BC
Naturopathic nutrition is the collaboration of scientific nutrition and the principles of natural medicine. This combined approach utilises food as it was originally intended – as the fuel source for life. The macro and micronutrients are investigated to meet each individual’s needs, but it is the application of the principles of natural medicine that differs naturopaths from dieticians and encompasses the holistic method of treatment.
What we eat is so important to our health and the ramifications of poor ‘diets’ or food fads is becoming so evident that how we perceive food needs a serious make-over. Nutrition begins in the soil, before the foods are grown, harvested and eventually make their way to our plates. It is the importance of wholefood eating, organic farming, and the understanding of what and why we eat
Native plants are the originators of modern medicine. The extensive history of the use of herbs to promote health and vitality by indigenous populations transcribes over many continents dating back to the 4th century BC
There are three traditional systems of medicine that incorporate the use of herbs in their treatment protocols – Western Herbal Medicine (WHM), Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and Ayurvedic Medicine. Different herbs are shared between these different systems, and this contributes to increased evidence based medicine reiterating the validity of traditional knowledge
Herbs are extremely complex in regards to their pharmacological action. There are hundreds of chemical constituents within each herb and they are responsible for the therapeutic action of that herb. Due to the vast number of constituents in each herb, it is not surprising that herbs have multiple actions within the body and it is the practitioner’s responsibility to determine the best combination to obtain the desired outcome for the client
Herbal treatment can come in the form of liquid tinctures (predominantly extracted in alcohol), infusions, tablets and capsules
Although herbs are natural, they still need to be treated with respect and should only be taken with the advice of a healthcare professional
Homoeopathy is based on Samuel Hahnemann’s doctrine of “like cures like”
It is a system of medicine that is non-toxic, non-invasive and safe for all age groups, life stages and can be used conjunctly with pharmaceutical medications. The medicines can be made from many different categories including plants, animals, minerals and even poisons. Homoeopaths believes that whatever can cause disease can potentially be used as a medicine
Again with all medicines, whether they are natural or not, use only under the guidance of a healthcare professional
Iridology is the study of health through the examination of the colour and structure of the iris, the pupil and the sclera. It is a screening tool used by complementary health practitioners to detect innate predispositions, constitutions and potential genetic adversities that may affect the health of an individual