It is based on the principles developed by Hippocrates (460-370 BC. AD) including concepts such as “We are what we eat” and “The disease is an imbalance of body humors” (humors being the blood, the lymph, the bile and intracellular fluids). If these “humors” circulate freely, all is well. If they are slowed down, we are sick, and when they stop, we die.
Naturopathy is both classified as a non-conventional medicine (European Parliament) and a traditional medicine (WHO). It is compatible with and complementary to allopathic (modern medicine using chemical drugs) and alternative medicine.
In some countries naturopathy is recognized and regulated (Australia, Canada…) or even officially recognized and reimbursed (Switzerland).
It is based on a principle of self-prevention and self-healing through the education of users.
Hence a naturopath is a person giving you the tools to improve your lifestyle, your diet, as well as the care and the exercises adapted to the cure and prevention of all kinds of ailments.
To maintain the proper functioning of your vital functions, this therapist supports you to establish healthy habits in your daily life – both in terms of nutrition and exercise – and to guide you in purification and detoxification processes of the body.
Depending on persons and fashions, this cleaning process is sometimes also called detoxication or detox or detoxination. In all cases, the principle is the same: removing from your body the disturbing elements and toxic substances that cause your diseases.
Further details about naturopathy
The principles of naturopathy
First, do no harm: identify and eliminate factors that cause the imbalance of your being.
Nature is healing: Nature provides solutions to your pain, your body has its own self-healing system.
The holistic approach: the naturopath considers the human being as a whole.
Identify and treat the cause: the symptoms are the reaction of your body fighting the disease, naturopathy seeks to address the underlying origin of the problem.
Detoxify and purify the body: different techniques can relieve various vital organs of toxic substances.
Education: this technique provides sustainable tools for everyone to balance his/her nutrition and his/her physical and mental hygiene. It is a life education that lasts a lifetime!
Prevention: using this education, you gain control over your health to prevent epidemics, seasonal changes, the effects of time, for you and your loved ones.
How does it work?
The main approaches used by naturopaths are:
- food hygiene, covering nutritional balance, but also seasonal cures or adapted for certain ailments, as well as specific nutritional diets used for limited periods and aimed to cure specific diseases,
- physical exercises, permitting to activate blood circulation and immune system, again possibly adapted to some specific pain or injury,
- emotional well-being, which includes managing stress, emotions and physical and mental relaxation.
Although the number of parameters seems important, a naturopath would start with establishing your “health status”, a list of precise assessments to find out how to guide you the best.
Since this medicine is not officially recognized, this statement is not an official diagnosis. It is therefore recommended to make this diagnosis prior to a doctor, in order to find out what you are dealing with. Then you are free to choose which techniques to use depending on the magnitude and urgency of the problem.
In all cases, it is important to understand that naturopathy is not a substitute for medical treatment, it complements and helps you prevent illness by strengthening your natural defenses.
This assessment is used to understand which elements would bring you back to health or keep you in good health, as well as to know which ones you should not use. Indeed, your body may have reactions to certain products that make things worse (allergies, depression, chronic illness, etc).
Whether you are looking forward to solving a health problem, or simply losing weight or preventing common diseases, naturopathy aims to re-balance your body and your lifestyle in the long term.
You will therefore establish with the practitioner a health assessment that will be unique and personal.
First, the therapist ensures that you have enough life energy to trigger your own self-healing capabilities. Otherwise, he will try to stimulate your immune system through a specific diet, an appropriate treatment, the use of natural products and specific techniques related to the well-being of the body.
Then you receive from your naturopathic practitioner some education that allows you to improve your lifestyle, your diet, managing emotions and stress. This can range from a simple monthly visit to measure your results and your progress, to a daily or weekly monitoring allowing you to gradually bring new habits to your everyday life.
This teaching deals with several subjects:
- Nutrition: the balance and quality of your meals, the nutrients you need.
- Manual therapy: techniques based on movement, Bowen technique, osteopathy, massages, if your body can benefit from such a technique to heal from a trauma.
- Physical exercises: for a daily hygiene movement that greatly helps your body maintain its vitality, they are gentle exercises, muscle training and sports tailored to your abilities.
- Relaxation: for a mental balance, managing your stress and your rest.
- Breathing: breath control, lung capacity, oxygen supply to your body.
- Wellness: massages, reflexology, baths, sauna, Ayurvedic techniques, thalassotherapy, clays, showers, etc.
- Plants: technique using essential oils (aromatherapy) and plants (herbal medicine) in various aspects of your daily life..
- Energy: magnetism, techniques using colors or sounds, reiki and other vibrational healing techniques.