How does Naturopathy work.
The principles of Naturopathy were first used by the Hippocratic School of Medicine around 400 BC. The Greek philosopher Hippocrates believed in viewing all aspects of a person in regards to finding the cause of disease, and using the laws of nature to stimulate the body to cure itself. It was from this original school of thought that Naturopathy takes its baic core principles which are:
- The healing power of nature- the human body has the innate ability to heal
- Identify and treat the cause – there is always an underlying cause, be it physical or emotional
- Do no harm- a Naturopath will never use treatments that may create other conditions, safe and effectice modalities are preferred.
- Treat the whole person- when preparing a treatment plan, all aspects of a person’s being are taken into consideration, body, mind, spirit and environment.
- The Naturopath is a teacher – a Naturopath empowers the patient to take responsibility for his/her own health by teaching self-care, he will empower and motivate his patient to take responsibility for his own health.
- Prevention is the best cure – a Naturopath will help initiate lifestyle changes and may remove toxic substances and situations from a patient’s lifestyle to prevent the onset of further disease
Naturopathy, is underpinned by the fundamental principle – vis medicatrix naturae – the healing power of nature. This was made clear twenty-five centuries ago when Hippocrates said Health is the expression of a harmonious balance between various components of man’s nature, the environment and ways of life – nature is the physician of disease. We are part of nature and the universe, and health is achieved by living in accordance with this principle. Harmony meant proper nutrition, exercise, water therapies, rest, sunshine,sleep, clean air and regular detoxification. Man is a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being, all aspects must be considered in achieveing perfect health. Vital force or chi (qi) that makes up the universe and nature flows through man and any dislocation from this source causes dis-ease. Naturopaths know that if you could restore the vital force of the patient, healing can be initated and the body would naturally heal itself.
The body has this capacity to heal itself if given the opportunity with the right nutrients and other requiremtns of the body, naturopathy, along with acupuncture, homoeopathy, herbal medicine,energy medicine and most other holistic modalities subscribes to this basic understanding of the body’s own innate intelligence.
Modern allopathic medicine, apart from all its positive and beneficial attributes, does not subscribe to this idea of wholism or to the importance of prevention, their focus is the mechanistic view of healing.
In the second century BC, the Yellow Emperor, in the Classic of Internal Medicine, said A doctor who treats a disease after it has happened is a mediocre doctor..a doctor who treats a disease before it happens is a superior doctor. It is said that Chinese physicians were paid to keep their patients healthy and were either dismissed or not paid if the patient became ill. This ensured a perfect health system, not an dis-ease health system. It is sad that this has changed and now we wait until the body has ailments then fix it. This is not intelligent medicine and part of a Naturopath’s role is empowering the patient to take responsibility for his or her own health.
The work of a Naturopath is not always an easy task due to the modern style of living surrounded by a hostile environment of toxins and chemicals. The current day Naturopath faces many more challenges than those of their forefathers. We now live in a sea of electromagnetic pollution, full of chemical pollutants in the air we breath, food we eat and all these were completely alien to man 50 years ago. Modern life and its conveniences spell havoc to ones health and what shouldn’t be in our bodies is present and what should be, we do not enough.
The Naturopath of today needs a very eclectic approach to meet these challenges and guide their patients back to vibrant health. He must always be guided by the basic fundamentals of the nature healing, and he may employ a vatious skills such as herbs, homoeopathy, manipulation, flower essences, acupuncture, energy medicine or biochemical supplementation to augment their work. Together with detoxification, all these therapies may be necessary to offset many of the suppressions brought about through living in our modern times with all its concomitant stresses that seek to strangle the life force in our bodies.