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…]