Naturopathy, Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and Medicine
Naturopathic philosophies draw on ancient tradition, fusing knowledge and treatment methods from various cultures as well as philosophies from key individuals such as Hippocrates, Galen, Avicenna, and Dioscorides.
The art of holistic naturopathic healing encompasses the modalities of herbal medicine, clinical nutrition, and nutritional supplementation. The addition of flower remedies, iridology assessments, tissue salts, and celloids allows further flexibility in treatment prescriptions and restorative agents. Specific pathology is addressed through the use of modern functional testing, which allows the practitioner the confidence to manage cases with the most appropriate therapeutic prescription.
Integrative Pathology and Functional Testing
Examples of integrative pathology and functional tests that assist the naturopath in diagnosis and treatment are: endocrinology analyses, CDSA, gut permeability tests, allergy testing (IgG/IgA,IgE), mould and biotoxin exposure, cardiovascular analyses, nutritional analyses, methylation testing, heavy metal and mineral analyses, genomic assessments, as well as standard routine pathology such as Full Blood Examination, liver function tests, and iron studies.
The naturopathic consult includes comprehensive case taking in order to determine the root cause of a health concern rather than rely on one single diagnosis. The naturopathic consultation time (usually one hour) is longer than a standard appointment at the GP. This allows the naturopath enough time to take a case history, discover any obstacles to health, and provide an appropriate prescription and treatment plan.
The concept of bioindividuality is important to the naturopath; that all individuals have a unique interaction with their nutritional and external environment. Naturopathic assessment involves dietary, lifestyle, occupational, social, environmental, and emotional considerations and their impact on health. Follow up consultations allow for treatments to be modified and tailored to suit the client and how their body responds to treatment.
Cause and Prevention
As natural medicine practitioners, we treat the whole person and believe that disease processes occurs when there is imbalance or dysfunction in the body. This means that illness is viewed as a process of disturbance to health, and as naturopathic practitioners we aim to find the cause of the disturbance and root cause of the dysfunction.
Naturopaths work to raise vitality and support physiological compensation for organs or systems that are either over or under functioning. Naturopathic care also offers a preventative approach to modern health understanding functional weakness, and working to strengthen body systems before the individual becomes ill.
The Six Maxims and the Vitalistic Approach
Vis Medicatrix Naturae (The healing power of nature)
Tolle Causam (Indentify and treat the cause)
Tolle Totum (Treat the whole person)
Primum non nocere (First do no harm)
Docere (Doctor as teacher)
These days, there is a prevalence of complementary and integrative medicine use, perhaps due to a decline in faith in modern medicine. Natural medicine is differentiated from conventional medicine by its strong philosophical foundation. Naturopathy recognizes that all living forms possess a self-regulatory ability for healing. This ability is described as a vital force, which is intelligent and self-regulatory. This vitalistic approach to health has been in practice for thousands of years, and is central to the philosophy of natural therapies; that life is governed by forces beyond the physical self and that all living things have the capacity to live, grow, develop, and heal.
The western medical model of healthcare can be more focused on treating symptoms without determining the cause of dysfunction, thereby providing a more reductionist approach to treatment, often through pharmaceutical intervention.
Clinical research studies may strengthen the naturopathic practitioner’s ability to treat a disease using nutrition and herbal medicine. Naturopathic treatment prescriptions can be provided carefully alongside allopathic pharmaceutical prescriptions, so that both philosophies can integrate successfully to optimize treatment for the client.
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