The word Naturopathy originates from the 19th Century European expression “Nature cures” and refers to an entire system of holistic health care which incorporates numerous natural therapies in order to restore health to the patient.
Similar to many other alternative and complementary therapies and systems, the Naturopathy philosophy is to promote the body’s innate ability to self heal and it recognises that health is more than simply the absence of disease and is in fact dependant on multiple factors.
Naturopathic health practitioners strive to provide personal care to each and every one of their patients believing that every individual is unique and people are genetically, biochemically, structurally and emotionally different from one another. Each person responds in a unique way to influences whether they are mental/emotional, structural, nutritional, social or cultural.
Working on the theory that ‘like cures like’, the treatment involves highly diluted substances. The aim of this is to trigger the body’s natural healing system. Looking at every patient as an individual, homeopathy takes a variety of factors into consideration.
The system of naturopathy is described by six core principles which practitioners adhere to at all times. There are many versions and re-phrasings of the six values but essentially they all have the same meaning and are as follows:
1. The healing power of nature– This essentially means that we should recognise, respect and promote our body’s healing power and self correcting mechanisms and should avoid any treatments which might contradict this by working against them.
2. Identify and treat the cause– It is important that the underlying cause, whether physical or emotional, is identified and removed as opposed to just simply suppressing the symptoms.
3. Do no harm– A Naturopath will provide the most effective health care system with the least risk to the patient and will never use treatments that may create other conditions.
4. Treat the whole person– Every aspect of a person’s being must be taken into account when preparing a treatment plan, the physical, mental and emotional aspects as well as individual health factors and influences must all be considered.
5. The physician as teacher– A Naturopath must encourage their patient to gain control and take responsibility for his or her own health by teaching them self care methods.
6. Prevention is better than cure – This value really speaks for itself and your naturopath will work with you to hopefully not only rid you of your current ailment but also to remove any toxic substances and situations to prevent the onset of further disease in the future.