What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy is a system of healing based on health and wellbeing, the treatment of functional disorders, and the relief and prevention of degenerative diseases.
The naturopathic approach to health and disease and the therapeutics employed distinguishes it from other systems of healing, although naturopathy claims to have no monopoly on this wide field of healing.
Naturopathy recognises that good health depends upon the body’s inherent healing mechanisms, and upholds the Hippocratic contention that ‘nature alone heals’. Each patient is considered as an individual, a combination of spirit, mind, emotion and body. Naturopaths treat the patient, not the disease. The healing of wounds and repair of fractured bones are universally recognised as manifestations of these mechanisms. But symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, boils, influenza and fevers, which frequently occur in acute disease, are, in many cases, nature’s efforts to remove harmful matter from the body.
Naturopathy recognises these as vital reactions producing valuable and beneficial effects, and therapeutic measures are used to aid these natural processes of healing. Acute disease is considered a manifestation of the inherent healing mechanisms, and if suppressed, may lead to chronic and degenerative disease.
Underlying Causes of Disease
Chemical causes: The health of the body depends on a healthy input through diet, fluid intake, and breathing, and output through the organs of elimination, which are the kidneys, skin, lungs and bowels. An imbalance in dietary, metabolic or excretory factors may potentially lead to ill health.
Mechanical causes: These include structural abnormalities such as spinal misalignment, muscular tension, strained ligaments and stiff joints resulting from, for instance, accidents, injuries, postural problems and work related factors.
Psychological causes: Destructive emotions such as fear, anger, hatred, or other psychological causes or anxiety may affect the physical organism as a whole. Naturopathy not only recognises the importance of the health and wellbeing of the individual, but that a healthy population and environment is essential for the health of future generations.
A healthy diet:
Should consist of a high proportion of natural unprocessed good quality foods, including some raw food. The system of agriculture used in food production is important, as ‘health begins in the soil’. The principles of organic agriculture are similar to those of naturopathy, that is, the emphasis is on the health of the plant or animal and disease prevention.
Therapeutic diets for specific conditions or for improving health may be utilised. Fasting, which may consist of a few days on fruit or vegetable juices, together with rest and relaxation, allows the body to build up physiological reserves for the restoration of health.
Water is used in many ways, for example, packs, alternate hot and cold compresses, partial baths (foot and arm baths), steam baths and showers. Hydrotherapy may have a beneficial effect for most patients, especially those with swelling and inflammation.
Naturopathy recognises the mind-body unity, and seeks to remove physical tension to help relax the mind. Naturopathy understands the importance of positive rather than negative thinking, and understands that social changes as well as individual changes are necessary to relieve the patient of unnecessary and unnatural physical and psychological strain and frustration.
Originally manipulation included osteopathic, chiropractic and neuro-muscular techniques (developed by the pioneering osteopath, chiropractor and naturopath, Stanley Lief). Manipulation is used for the restoration of functional integrity and to potentially influence blood and lymph flow and nerve function throughout the body tissues.
Our Naturopath Lily Cumming is available for you to book an appointment with.