Naturopathy is underpinned by a fundamental principle – the healing power of nature. This was made clear twenty-five centuries ago when Hippocrates said “Health is the expression of a harmonious balance between various components of man’s nature, the environment and ways of life… nature is the physician of disease.”
Stephen Langley, 2003
Naturopathy is a holistic approach which considers the patient not only as a biological organism but also as an emotional and social being whose health is affected by many external factors. Accordingly, treatments are highly individualised to meet the specific needs of each patient and may include nutrition, herbs, homeopathy, flower essences, Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
At a time when modern technology, environmental pollution, poor diet, and stress play a significant role in the degradation of health, a Naturopath’s ability to apply natural methods of healing is of considerable importance.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
First Do No Harm
1. Use methods and medicinal substances which minimise the risk of harmful side effects
2. When possible, avoid the harmful suppression of symptoms
3. Acknowledge and respect the individual’s healing process, using the least force necessary to create a therapeutic plan
Identify and Address the Cause
The Naturopath seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, be it physical or emotional, rather than to eliminate or merely suppress symptoms.
Considers the Whole Person
A Naturopath considers each personal as individual, taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic practitioners encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual path,
The Healing Power of Nature
Naturopathic medicine recognises the body’s inherent ability to heal itself, therefore naturopathic practitioners identify and remove obstacles to recovery and facilitate this healing ability in patients.
Prevention is Better than Cure
A Naturopath may remove toxic substances and situations from a patient’s lifestyle to prevent the onset of further disease, and assess risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease to make appropriate interventions to prevent illness.
Naturopath as Teacher
A Naturopath empowers the patient to take responsibility for his/her own health by teaching self-care and encouraging self-responsibility for health. They also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the practitioner-client relationship.