What is Naturopathy?

You’ve probably heard of a naturopath before, maybe you aren’t sure what one does or how naturopathy and natural therapy works. You’re not alone.

The principles of naturopathy and western herbal medicine were first used around 400BC by the Hippocratic School of Medicine, where it was understood that natural medicines and methods could be very effective in healing and disease recovery.  In the centuries since, naturopathy has evolved and grown into a system of healthcare which uses a broad range of natural therapies from herbal remedy to nutritional guidance and supplementation, flower essences, lifestyle support and exercise. At the heart of the practice is that a naturopath recognises each person’s individual physiology is to be respected and protocol should be planned accordingly.

The 6 Foundational Principles of Naturopathy

All naturopathic modality centres around 6 common principles which exist to guide practitioners and individuals to a peak state of well-being.

1. Healing power of nature

This principle relies on your body’s power to heal itself. Our bodies are wise and if we remove obstacles to healing such as poor diet or damaging environmental factors, many of our health issues can be self-healed.

2. Identify and remedy the cause, not the symptoms

Symptoms are our body’s way of telling us there’s something going on underneath. We should look to find the underlying cause of health problems, rather than remedy the symptoms which result from them.

3. First do no harm

Stemming from the Hippocratic Oath, this principle tells us we should seek the least invasive and least toxic approach for illness. The cure should not be worse than the disease.

4. Healer as teacher

Part of a naturopath’s role is to guide patients. If you’re shown how to take charge of your own care and well-being, you will be empowered to maintain your health.

5. Whole body approach

Naturopathic remedy considers not just the immediate causes of poor health. Instead we look at the complex systems of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental interaction, planning healthcare to fit.

6. Prevention is the best medicine

We must look towards an ongoing healthy lifestyle in order to prevent relapses and recurrence of poor health or disease. We know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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