Naturopathy

 The Practice of Naturopathy

naturopath (1)Naturopathy is a therapeutic discipline based on the body’s natural capacity to recover from disorders and to maintain health.

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This systemic stability is known as homeostasis and is maintained by the body’s systems working in harmony to maintain life and health. When your systems are overwhelmed or not functioning to their fullest efficiency for reasons including environmental, dietary or lifestyle factors, and stress, natural and complementary therapies can assist with recovery and restoration of systemic functions.

Link to full article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_homeostasis 

As modern naturopathy uses a range of assessments including conventional medical diagnosis, naturopathic recommendations will be compatible with treatments that may be prescribed by your medical practitioner. Complementary therapies are intended to work with conventional medical treatments and to take into account any potential interactions with pharmacy medicines.

Initial appointments with a Naturopath will take from 1-2 hours in which your medical history and lifestyle factors will be reviewed to determine a treatment regimen suited to your individual needs. Diagnostic procedures such as physical exams, blood and urine analysis may be required in order to establish a treatment and health-promoting program. Conventional pathology tests ordered by general practitioners may also be of assistance and an open working relationship with your doctor is encouraged so as to integrate any treatments that may be recommended.

Naturopathy can assist with a wide range of health conditions and is suitable for children as well as adults. Some of the most frequent applications of naturopathic treatments include:

  • Fatigue and stress related disorders including general pain and discomfort
  • Seasonal infections including colds and influenza
  • Weight management difficulties
  • Dietary, nutritional and digestive problems
  • PMT and hormonal imbalances

Naturopathy encompasses a range of treatment modalities including:

  • Herbal Medicine using Western and Traditional Chinese medicinal herbs
  • Dietary and nutritional factors
  • Encouragement of positive and healthy lifestyle factors
  • Relaxation techniques including breathing control
  • Stretching techniques and moderate exercise
  • Therapeutic massage

Benefits of Naturopathy

Naturopathic treatments enhance the body’s systemic processes to assist with restoring health and with disease prevention. In addition, one of Naturopathy’s primary roles is to optimise good health as well as assisting with disease prevention and recovery. The benefits of Naturopathy lie in the principle of treating the cause of disease rather than the effects and symptoms: through active consultation with you for collaborative management of your health.

Modern naturopaths are trained and experienced in the principles of conventional medicine as well as naturopathic and complementary approaches to health. These principles focus on the use of contemporary dietary and nutritional approaches for effective health and weight management, as well as treatment with herbal medicines whose effectiveness is supported by centuries of traditional use and modern research.

Naturopathic principles are based on systematically working with all aspects of you as a whole person – as well as treating the specific condition or affected area – with treatments that are specific to your individual requirements. Through non-invasive therapeutic approaches, the body, mind and emotions are supported as part of the healing process. Other complementary modalities may be recommended as part of your health plan, which may include acupuncture, chiropractic or osteopathy and self-paced activities such as Yoga, Tai Chi and meditation.

Naturopathic approaches to health maintenance and optimisation include:

  • Prevention and treatment of illness and post-illness recovery
  • Systemic detoxification and enhancement of systemic functions
  • Dietary and nutritional optimisation
  • Relief of muscle pain and stiffness
  • Effective stress management techniques

The Benefits of Herbal Medicine

The use of herbal medicine is an ancient healing practice used by traditional societies and in many modern Eastern and Western countries. In many cultures it is part of everyday life and is the preferred source of treating and preventing disease. The medicinal properties of plants have been documented and used throughout the world and are supported by current research.

Modern medicine makes use of many plant-derived compounds as the basis for evidence-based pharmaceuticals, and herbal medicine applies modern standards of effectiveness testing to herbs and medicines that are derived from natural sources. Some modern uses of herbs include incorporating their healing properties in cosmetic preparations and for other topical uses.

Herbal medicine assists the body’s natural healing capacities to optimise normal functions and restore homeostasis. Many acute and chronic conditions and systemic functions respond to herbal medicines including digestive, immune, lymphatic, reproductive, nervous and circulatory systems.

Herbal medicines may be used for both short-term and long-term effect and offer a quality source of alternative and complementary medicine to pharmaceuticals. In both Western Herbal Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), herbal products are available in convenient and palatable forms including tablets, capsules, tinctures and topical creams. Naturopaths and TCM practitioners are qualified to recommend specific herbs and herbal formulas for your specific needs.

Many pharmaceuticals currently available have a long history of use as herbal remedies, including opium, aspirin, digitalis and quinine. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 25% of modern drugs used in the United States have been derived from plants, and at least 7,000 medical compounds in the modern pharmacopoeia are from plants sources. Among the active plant sourced compounds currently used in modern medicine, 80% show a positive correlation between their modern therapeutic use and the traditional use of the plants from which they are derived.

The Benefits of Nutrition Therapy

The nutritional therapeutic approach to treating medical conditions and their associated symptoms is via the use of a specifically tailored diet based on the patient’s medical and psychosocial history, physical examination, functional examination and dietary history.
The role of nutrition therapy is to reduce the risk of developing complications in pre-existing conditions such as diabetes as well as ameliorate the effects of any existing conditions such as high cholesterol. Many medical conditions either develop or are made worse by an improper or unhealthy diet.
A nutritional therapy practitioner combines the individuality of each client with a food diet and nutritional supplementation in order to return the client to a state of optimal health, by treating the body as a complete functioning integrated system and addressing the causes of problems, not just the symptoms.

The Benefits of Massage

Massage involves manipulation of soft tissues including muscles, tendons and ligaments, and increasing flexibility of joints. The benefits of massage include:

  • reduction muscle pain and stiffness
  • increased circulation of blood and lymph
  • improved systemic detoxification, lymphatic drainage and skin condition
  • calming of the nervous system and reduction of stress and anxiety
  • general relaxation and an increased sense of wellbeing
  • greater immune system function and efficiencyincreased levels of energy

Different massage techniques address specific areas of treatment. Relaxation or Swedish Massage is a general approach for overall systemic well-being, relaxation as well as muscle and joint flexibility.

Deep Tissue Massage is used for deeper treatment of muscles and tendons using slower and firmer movements to work on specific areas, and can also assist with releasing emotional tension including stress related disorders. For example, massage can assist conditions such as recurrent headaches and migraines, and relieve the underlying causes of depression.