What is naturopathy?
Naturopathic medicine is based on the theory that the body has the natural ability to heal itself. A naturopath will assess the person as a whole, and identify the cause of a problem or illness and treat it. This is in contrast to conventional medicine which is concerned with treating or suppressing the symptoms of disease. Naturopaths use a range of gentle, holistic, non-invasive treatments that treat the underlying causes of illnesses. This may include nutrition, hydrotherapy, herbal medicine, homoeopathy, massage and Bowen technique - amongst others. Naturopaths are also likely to educate an individual on the aspects of disease prevention and recommend lifestyle changes to encourage optimum health. They advocate that the symptoms of any illness are evidence of the body trying to heal itself, and that each individual has unique emotional, physical and nutritional features.
Conditions naturopathy treats
Naturopathic medicine can treat a wide array of conditions, ranging from chronic illnesses, acute conditions to mild afflictions. Here follows a selection of conditions that a naturopath can assist in treating and healing:
- Cardiovascular problems including hypertension
- Digestive complaints including constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Skin conditions such as acne and eczema
- Colds and flu
- Headaches and migraines
- Infertility and pregnancy health
Consultation with a naturopath
Naturopathy can effectively treat a range of mental and physical ailments, with an initial consultation used to determine factors such as family history, diet, environment, lifestyle and habits. This will typically last up to an hour and may also include hair analysis and identification of any existing food allergies. A course of treatment can then be prescribed for the patient to follow.
Naturopaths will draw on a diverse range of treatments to heal. This includes:
- Hydrotherapy - the use of water to stimulate circulation and boost the functioning of the immune system is highly effective
- Clinical nutrition - dietary improvements, supplements and a carefully designed nutrition plan are some of the central pillars of naturopathic treatment - with raw vegetables, fruits and grains often prescribed
- Homeopathic medicine - homeopathy uses highly diluted substances to trigger the body's self-healing mechanism
- Botanical or herbal medicine - utilising plants and plant extracts to treat specific conditions
- Physical therapy - this includes massage and other manipulation techniques
Find a naturopath in your local area in the Natural Therapy Pages local directory.Originally published on Jun 30, 2010