What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy is a method of alternative medicine which is based on the understanding that diseases can be successfully treated or prevented through the use of natural methods such as diet, supplementation, lifestyle, exercise, stress management, hydrotherapy etc. The principle being that the human body, given the right conditions, can heal itself of illness and more importantly disease can be prevented.
Western Lifestyle and Disease
In the Western World, we are very much victims to the over consumption of unhealthy food and fast paced lifestyle. It is very much the norm for people in the Western World to lead a lifestyle that may include:
Refined foods such as white sugar, flour, rice which have been stripped of much of their nutritional value.
Tinned foods, red meat, saturated fats, ready-made and processed foods laden with salt, artificial preservatives, additives and colouring and E numbers.
Non stop consumption of stimulants such as coffee, tea, cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.
Lack of exercise
Contact with substances which contain toxic chemicals, quite often found in beauty and household products
Increased stress levels from non-stop work and efforts to achieve more and more
Negative emotions such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem which can actually all contribute to poor physical health.
All of these factors can cause an unhealthy environment in the body leading to inflammation (a powerful force in the development of disease) and a suppressed immune system to name a few. This unhealthy state in our bodies can lead to many of the diseases we suffer in the Western World such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease etc. The World Health Organisation states the following:
“Four of the most prominent chronic diseases – cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and type 2 diabetes – are linked by common and preventable biological risk factors, notably high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and overweight, and by related major behavioural risk factors: unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and tobacco use…” The full report can be read here.
It’s In My Genes!
We hear so much talk about genetics and how disease is brought on by your genes. Putting disease down to your genes can be a fatalistic way of looking at things. Much research has been done over the last few years which shows that genes can actually be turned on and off. Research performed at the Center of Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav, Mexico) has identified that certain food and lifestyle habits can turn on or off the expression of cancer related genes. The study reported that if you have genes that can make you prone to cancer then these genes can be switched on by leading an unhealthy lifestyle; equally these genes can be supressed by following a healthy lifestyle. The full report can be read here. Of course this doesn’t just apply to cancer but to many other diseases too.
How Can a Naturopath Help?
The aims of Naturopathy are to treat a person from an holistic approach; to address the underlying problem so the body can heal itself. A Naturopath will do a consultation to look at such things as diet, lifestyle, stress levels and emotional issues. Recommendations will then be made, which if followed, will help to bring the body back to a healthy state of wellbeing. Recommendations may include:
Following a specific healthy eating plan depending on the illness
Supplements or herbs may be recommended to assist the body in returning to a healthy state or at least to relieve symptoms
Help with changing bad habits such as smoking, drinking, alcohol or taking drugs
How to reduce the chemical load on the body by using only natural beauty and household products
Partaking of suitable exercise
Hydrotherapy or the use of packs and poultices to help cleanse the body or reduce inflammation
Suitable stress management techniques to relieve stress
Hypnotherapy to relieve psychological, behavioural or emotional problems
Of course all of these recommendations are not quick fixes and it takes time to change the poor lifestyle habits that have led to the poor health conditions in the first place. However changing unhealthy lifestyle habits to consistent healthy ones will help you:
Address underlying issues
Overcome chronic health conditions
Restore your body to good health
And leave you feeling much happier and healthier
Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? Start that healthy regime today. The sooner you start the sooner you will start feeling like a new you. And remember, look after your body because it’s the only one you’ve got.
If you have any questions please ask.
Click here for more information about how Naturopathy can help you.
Disclaimer: Always consult with your GP before embarking on any health programme.