A Naturopath is a Non-Conventional Therapist who prescribes and applies natural therapies. The set of therapies is much more than fasting, food hygiene, hydrotherapy and exercise. It includes practices such as Homeopathy, Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, among other techniques. At a time when modern technology, environmental pollution, poor nutrition and stress play an important role in the degradation of health, the ability to apply natural methods of healing is of considerable importance. The Naturopath is often the last resort in the patient’s long search for health. By providing personalized care to each patient, the naturopath sees the patient as a holistic unit of body, mind and spirit.
The Origins of Naturopathy
The principles of naturopathy originate from the teachings of Hippocrates about 400 BC. The Greek philosopher Hippocrates believed in looking at the individual as a whole and sought out the disharmony that could cause the disease. He used the laws of nature to create harmony and healing. It was from this school of thought that Naturopathy grounded its principles.
Principles of Naturopathy:
The healing power of nature – nature has the innate ability to heal
Identify and treat the cause – there is always an underlying cause, be it physical or emotional.
Do not harm the patient – a Naturopath avoids using treatments that can create other pathological conditions.
Treat the whole person – in preparing a treatment plan, all aspects of a person’s being are taken into consideration.
Naturopath as a teacher – a Naturopath instructs the patient to take responsibility for their own health by teaching good diet, lifestyle habits.
Prevention is Better Than Treatment – A Naturopath can remove toxic substances and situations in a patient’s lifestyle to prevent the onset of further illness.
Hippocrates said that health is the expression of a harmonious balance between various components of man’s nature, environment and ways of life – nature is the very medicine of disease. Man is part of nature and the universe, and health is achieved by living according to these principles. Harmony was promoted with proper nourishment, rest, sunlight, and fasting. Medicine, religion, and knowledge were closely related and man was seen as a whole – a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual being. The same vital force or chi (qi) that composed the universe and nature flowed through man and is the deviation from these principles that causes illness.
Modern orthodox medicine, in addition to all its positive and beneficial attributes, is not governed by these principles and does not give importance to prevention. This is not a smart medicine and part of the role of a Naturopath is to empower the patient to take responsibility for their own health. This is not always an easy task with the current lifestyle and hostile environment of toxins and chemicals in which we live. Modern Naturopaths face many other challenges than those of their ancestors. Most of us now live in a sea of electromagnetic pollution, along with a plethora of chemical pollutants that were completely foreign to man 40 years ago. Add to this the denatured foods and we have a heady mix of possible health problems to happen.
Modern Naturopath can employ a number of techniques like Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, Manipulative Techniques, Acupuncture, Supplements to benefit our work.
What would you expect from consultation?
An initial consultation with a Naturopath usually takes about an hour. During this time, the Naturopath will ask questions about the person’s condition, medical history, diet and lifestyle, and any conventional treatments that they may take. Once all the information is collected, a treatment plan is formulated that addresses all areas of the person’s life, giving the body the best ability to heal. The treatment plan may include advice on diet, lifestyle, exercise, herbal medicine or other appropriate remedies. A Naturopath can also refer the client to other professionals as part of an integrated approach to health care.