A Naturopath’s role as a primary healthcare professional is to diagnose and then treat the cause of human illness utilizing only effective and safe natural health care methods. Naturopathic medicine is totally drugless and non surgical. Naturopathy is “wholistic” which means the naturopath treats the person as a whole rather than like a specialist who only looks at one specific area.
Time honoured natural treatment methods like western herbal medicine, homeopathic medicine, vitamin and mineral supplementation, dietary therapy, body work and therapeutic massage, therapeutic exercise and positive lifestyle advice are typically used.
Diagnosis is via standard pathology testing and thorough history taking . Many Naturopaths may also run nutritional tests, salivary hormone tests and hair analysis and iridology(careful examination of the iris of the eye) to give them insight into the cause of persons condition. Once the initial complaint is addressed, Naturopathy is concerned with helping patients maintain this newly acquired health for life through regular Naturopathic assessment and care.
How does naturopathy work?
Obviously any system of medicine is complex and can’t be fully explained in a few sentences but I’ll try to bring the basics to the fore. Naturopathic theory dictates that the human body has the ability to heal itself ( vitalism) if it is supplied with the correct environment and the basic ingredients that can build new healthy cells. This is based on the age old doctrine of “vis medicatrix naturae” – only nature can heal from Hippocractic times.
Naturopathic medicine is based on treating the cause of an illness and aims to treat the body as a whole. The dis-ease or illness or pain the patient presents with may have a singular cause but often has many different causes.
The causes may be chemical, structural or even emotional. The aim of the Naturopaths job is to discover the root cause/s of the illness and then remedy the situation by removing the cause eg. poor lifestyle or dietary choices, reducing acidity, removing toxicity from the body and improving upon musculo-skeletal disturbances. Improving on nutritional deficiencies by adding in nutritional or herbal supplements, improving diet, improving exercise and the list goes on.
This then frees up the body’s inbuilt ability to heal itself by rebuilding itself with better cells- cell by cell.