The principles of Naturopathy were first used by the Hippocratic School of Medicine in about 400 BC. The Greek philosopher Hippocrates believed in viewing the whole person in regards to finding a cause of disease and using the laws of nature to induce cure. It was from this original school of thought that Naturopathy takes its principles.
- The healing power of nature- nature 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 complicated conditions.
- Holistic approach – when preparing a treatment plan, all aspects of a person’s being are taken into consideration.
- The Naturopath as a teacher – a Naturopath empowers the patient to take responsibility for his/her own health by teaching self-care.
- Prevention is better than cure – a Naturopath may remove toxic substances and situations from a patient’s lifestyle to prevent the onset of further disease.
A classic of Internal Medicine said “A doctor who treats a disease after it has happened is a mediocre doctor. The doctor who treats a disease before it happens is a superior doctor“. Indeed Chinese physicians were paid to keep their patients healthy and were either dismissed or not paid if the patient became ill. This ensured a health system, not an ill health system, as we know it. Unfortunately, this understanding has changed to a new paradigm-wait until it is broken and 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. This is not always an easy task amid a hostile environment of toxins and chemicals.
An initial consultation with a Naturopath normally takes about an hour. During this time the Naturopath will ask questions about the person’s condition, medical history, diet and lifestyle, and any conventional treatments that they may be taking. The consulting Naturopath may then use Iridology (looking into the iris), or tongue and nail diagnosis to get a better picture of the complete health state of the client. If needed, pathology testing such as hair, stool, or blood analysis may be recommended. Once all of the information is gathered, a treatment plan is formulated that addresses all areas of the person’s life, providing the body with the optimum chance to heal itself. The treatment plan may include advice on diet, lifestyle, exercise, Ayurveda herbal medicines or other suitable remedies. A Naturopath may also refer the client to other practitioners as part of an integrated health care approach.
Food Is The Only Medicine
Naturopathic Nutrition stresses the use of whole and organic foods as medicine – an integral concept of healing in many indigenous societies. Today, we see that a return to chemical-free foods, along with other dietary measures, is an effective answer to many health complaints and common conditions. CNM students learn about the physiological and biochemical processes involved in nourishment, and the energetic side of food as well. Thousands of years ago, master healers in China perceived a way to classify food and disease according to simple, easily observed patterns; one eats cooling foods for overheated conditions, and warming foods are best for people who feel cold. Detoxifying foods are for those who carry an excess of toxins, and building foods are good for deficiencies, and so on.