Posted by: rabana | November 6, 2010

Explaining Naturopathy, part 1: Simple Logic

Naturopathy is a system of healing involving a comprehensive view of physiology and how the body works. We never say ‘We don’t know the cause, there is no cure.’ It is neither complicated nor mysterious, It is explainable and logical– you can understand the physiology of your body. By learning  basic principles, anyone can know whats going on in there and why and what to do about it. Anyone willing to change diet and habits will heal.

Formally, as far as literature, schools and practice go, the roots of naturopathy go back at least 150 years. So this is nothing new and yet to be proven by experience. The ideas it encompasses tho– pure food and water, fasting, wholesome exercise and a serene mind, etc. are old beyond old. In practice, the naturopath sticks to Hippocrates’ creed: At least do no harm.

This article is about understanding physiology according to basic naturopathic principles.


Naturopathy seeks to encourage the body’s own inherent and automatic healing process through diet and lifestyle changes, natural remedies and cleansing therapies. Symptoms are seen as evidence of healing, not as illness itself. They also are interpreted as indications of the underlying causes. The natural agents and therapies recommended are selected in order to do no harm, and to promote healing of the entire organism rather than to merely suppress specific symptoms.

Naturopathy  fosters vital force. This term includes what is commonly known as the immune system and other factors such as energy level, muscular strength and digestive efficiency, all of which  make for a healthy individual. Protecting vital force, is of prime importance.  Therapies that harm or  inhibit life force are never used in naturopathic practice.


A naturopath is a teacher of wellness. Education of the patient toward changes in lifestyle is an equally important part of the process.  Indeed, success depends more on the patient and what they are willing to do, than what the naturopath can do for them. No one can eat for you, no one can fast for you.

In learning to heal naturopathically we learn about what to do when we are ill (rest, lighten the diet, keep the colon moving, use herbs and homeopathy) and more importantly what to do while we are well in order to heal our chronic tendencies. Detox/cleansing programs that take place when we are not necessarily ill are the heart of naturopathy and are the reason why this method consistently brings about ‘miracles’ of healing.

Many people turn to naturopathy only after they have been told by conventional experts that they cannot get well. That so many of these ‘hopeless cases’ cannot only reduce symptoms but actually transform themselves to health, ‘cured’ of their problem, is proof of efficacy.

I have been using naturopathic therapies personally for 34 years and have been in practice as a traditional naturopath/herbalist for 27. In that time I have encountered many many people who refused to allow themselves to hear this hopeful message about natural healing. But of those who have opened themselves to the simple logic of the detox practices, no one has ever argued with me about it. As I explain the principles they all exclaim ‘That’s right’, ‘I know’ and ‘Yes, that’s logical’.

There’s a saying from the old-time naturopaths: ‘All disease is curable but not all patients’. This means that not everyone will accept these new ideas, and even fewer are willing to do the intimate, individualized work necessary to heal.


When toxic conditions compound over time and are suppressed rather than healed, they move from acute (like a cold, something you will get over) to chronic (ongoing like asthma or bronchitis) to degenerative (‘advanced’, involving the actual breakdown of tissues and function like lung cancer or emphysema). I’m not saying its easy to ‘cure’ an advanced condition but with patience and dedication it can be done and has been done and is happening more and more as the world learns about naturopathy.

Given the information and the will to proceed, anyone can get well. And let me assure you of this: Naturopathic healing is not  expensive. In fact it can be accomplished on the sparest of budgets.

When I first encountered naturopathy in my mid-20’s, I was already very ill and rejected by the conventional system as ‘imagining’ my problems.  Attending a series of lectures by a traditional naturopath, I heard the message and recognized it as truth. I learned and carried out the various modalities intently for many years and continue to adhere to the principles as habit and lifestyle. Naturopathy saved my life. It  gave me quality of life and if you want to take it up and do the work, it can save yours.

[To be continued…]


  1. Lifestyle changes is key! Funny how so many people don’t want to hear that :(

  2. haha. like pulling teeth, for most people. still, its gotten a lot better….

    we’ve talked about sacrifice at IS– you sacrifice whats making you miserable in order to acquire great benefits. very few takers on that…

  3. thanks for these naturopath articles…I’m going to give the candida diet another go…

    I do wonder, what makes someone who is on and off (mostly) healthy eating…finally stick to it…mostly (not like 100% of the time, but say, 90% of the time…)…?

    Sometimes people are not even motivated when they have a very serious illness…

    Are there any diseases that cannot be cured by naturopathy? A few close ones of mine have a rare terminal illness…there is no known cure, synthetic or natural (as far as I have read)…I personally do not feel hopeful that there is (currently) a cure for this rare genetic disease. Believe me, I wish that here was a cure…but I accept that there currently isn’t…

    However, I think that naturopathy, nutrition, herbs, detox, could help to reduce some symptoms, and prolong life…but then, they have to be open to changing their diets, and to be effective, not just a little…but as far as I am aware, most people with illnesses do not have the motivation to stick to a diet that is very healthy (and non toxic) for them…

  4. if you have the sincere intent to heal and acquire better habits, you are doing it 100%. it develops in its own way for everyone. don’t worry about how long things take, don’t worry about ‘down time’. just keep slogging away as best you can.

    some support would help. do you know anyone else that is interested? when i started i was living in the woods with no support, but little access to temptation. your yeast makes things even harder, you know. try to remember that yeastie is out to get you, it doesn’t want you well. keep your own thoughts sorted out from candida’s craving thoughts. you’ll at least feel better about yourself as a person.

    naturopathy is for us, for the people interested, not for those who have no interest. people who are very ill are sunk deeply into their own belief system as far as health choices go and are usually fearful. it is not the time to press them with new ideas. they very rarely want to change. all you can do is to be an example– perhaps that is some motivation to keep working at this.

    these practices make a person the best they can be. certainly the person with a ‘rare genetic disease’ and an unhealthy lifestyle could improve their situation vastly. the actual practice of naturopathy over more than a century has developed thru treating ‘hopeless cases’. it is likely that no one in the history of this rarity has done full naturopathy with all the adjuncts such as massage, hydrotherapy, spinal adjustments and so on. so who really knows?

    presenting naturopathy to seriously ill people comes down to what you said– are they open, looking for something unconventional? if not there is nothing you can do and it is a kindness not to press them.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers

%d bloggers like this: