When I was first looking at nutrition courses I thought I was a bit dim as I had to look up what Naturopathy was, but it turns out that many people I talk to don’t really know what it means either so I thought it would be useful to explain this as it’s the basis of my way of practising nutrition coaching.
It’s not difficult to take a stab in the dark and say it’s something to do with nature or a natural approach, and you’d certainly be on the right lines. Hippocrates (sometimes called the father of modern medicine) advocated viewing the whole person when trying find the cause of a disease and using the power of nature to find a cure, and it is from this that Naturopathy takes it’s principles.
The key principles of Naturopathic philosophy are:
Nature has the power to heal and living in harmony with nature can bring health. Restoring the vital force, the energy of life (known as Chi in China or Prana in India), allows the body to naturally heal itself.
The body has the power to heal itself and symptoms of illness are part of that process. Instead of trying to suppress the symptoms, Naturopathic practitioners endeavour to find the root cause of the symptom and support the body to remove the cause and heal.
Naturopathic nutrition takes a food-first approach and looks to a balanced, wholesome, natural diet as it’s base.
Everyone is biochemically unique and must be treated as an individual – there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Obviously there are similarities and this allows us to label symptoms and have ideas about basic treatment approaches but these must be tailored to suit the individual.
The body is not a machine of individual parts that work in isolation. What happens to the body affects the whole person – mind, body and spirit – and as such, Naturopaths take a holistic approach to health rather than just focusing on the point of the symptom. Several different therapies may be used to compliment each other, as well as looking at life-style factors.
Prevention is better than cure. Waiting until it’s broken to fix it is not an ideal system when it comes to our health. Naturopaths endeavour to enable people to take responsibility for their health so they can get and stay healthy.
Naturopathy isn’t about providing a miraculous or mystical cure. Education is a key part to ensure that individuals understand why disease occurs and what they can do to maintain the new levels of health they are experiencing.
Naturopaths believe that wellness isn’t simply the absence of illness but also having a feeling of vitality.
I hope this has been a useful summary to help you understand the Naturopathic approach to health, so you can see how that might differ from the conventional approach to medicine that we are used to.
I’d love to hear about your experiences of Naturopathic / Complimentary medicine and how they’ve helped you. Please comment below to share them with me.