Naturopathy is a system of healing based on the idea that the body is capable of healing itself, providing that it is offered the kind of conditions that will allow the healing process to begin. For example, naturopaths believe that, in order to heal, the body, mind and spirit need rest, relaxation and sleep, a correct and well-balanced diet and the opportunity to eliminate toxins from the system.
In addition, rather than looking for a cure for symptoms such as, say, lower back pain or constant headaches, a naturopath will aim to identify the root cause of the symptoms and then look for ways to restore the client’s overall balance, harmony and health.
Naturopathy is a complete system of healthcare which aims to help the client to eliminate waste products and toxins and then, by making appropriate lifestyle changes, give the body the opportunity to heal itself. Naturopathy is based on three guiding principles:
An initial consultation with a naturopath will take an hour or longer. The naturopath will take a thorough medical history and details of the client’s working and personal lifestyle, exercise, sleeping, eating and drinking habits.
The practitioner may also carry out a routine medical examination on the fully-clothed client, which might include taking the client’s blood pressure, checking pulse and reflexes and testing joint mobility.
Each treatment is individually designed to meet the specific needs of the client and may involve, for example, recommended dietary changes, alternate hot and cold baths or showers, saunas or steam baths, enemas or colonic irrigation, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. In some cases, the naturopath may recommend a period of fasting which might involve, for example, a three-day fast with only water or fruit juice to drink. The key aim of the naturopath is to help the client to eliminate toxins from the body, thus allowing the body to re-balance, repair and heal itself.
Naturopathy can be used to treat a wide range of conditions including skin disorders such as psoriasis or eczema, arthritis, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, colds and bronchitis, and allergies and digestive problems (including irritable bowel syndrome).
Naturopathy aims to clear and cleanse the body through a range of natural interventions such as diet and the use of nutritional supplements. It is a natural, non-invasive therapy.
Some clients report short-lived unpleasant side effects as a result of making significant changes to their diet (such as avoiding coffee, tea, sugar, alcohol or fatty, processed foods). When consulting a naturopath, do make sure that you continue with any prescribed medication. If fasting or a restricted diet is prescribed by the naturopath, make sure that your progress is closely supervised and monitored by the practitioner.
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- Laura Jane Bowers BSc(Hons), MRN, Cert ECBS, MBTER, MAAPA, AC RegisteredNaturopath & Complementary Therapist, Bowen Technique, Aromatherapy & Massage