Naturopathy

NATUROPATHY

What is Naturopathy?

The Main Uses of Naturopathy

What to expect when you visit a Naturopath

Brief History of Naturopathy

What is Naturopathy?

This document provides general information of what to expect when you visit a therapist, and a general theory behind how their discipline works. It must be noted, however, that every therapist works in an individual way, and may subscribe to slightly different theories on how their discipline works. It is always advised that you ask to see relevant qualifications and discuss the treatment offered to you by the practitioner if you are in any doubt whatsoever.

Naturopaths believe that the body heals itself and is always striving for balance, referred to as "homeostasis". They see illness as the end result of a weakened 'vital force' sometimes called 'life energy', believing that when the body is overloaded with toxins the body has great difficulty in maintaining balance. Practitioners believe that as a result of this, the immune system is overburdened and starts to break down rendering the body susceptible to viruses, bacteria and allergens.

There are a number of things and situations that can overburden the body including: lack of sleep, poor diet, emotional and physical stresses and strains, alcohol and drug abuse, lack of exercise, negative outlook and so on.

Naturopaths see symptoms of illnesses as a sign that the body is healing itself and they get to work on the possible underlying causes of illness in an attempt to lessen the chances of re-infection or recurrence of the illness. They would never suppress a symptom, because they believe that to do so would only push the illness "underground" and result in chronic illnesses.

Most naturopaths use a variety of techniques with some specialising in a particular discipline. The most commonly used treatments include :

  • Diet : There is a drive to eat unrefined, preferably organic fresh fruit and vegetables. Dietary advice is given to those with conditions that are aggravated by certain foods and fasting is sometimes suggested.

  • Hydrotherapy : A treatment involving water including the use of baths and spritzes, of varying water temperatures said to improve circulation and boost vitality.

  • Physical therapies : Including osteopathy, chiropractic, massage and physiotherapy, reflexology, acupressure, shiatsu and yoga and what some European naturopaths term terrain cure - or more simply - getting out in the fresh air.

  • In addition, Herbal medicine, homeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine are all techniques that may be used by naturopaths to help support the body's healing powers.
Click here to read about the main uses of Naturopathy.

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