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Importance of Naturopathic

The Importance of Naturopathic Medicine

By Angela Tompkins Everglades University Dr. Judith Thompson September 17, 2009

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Importance of Naturopathic

Abstract: Naturopathic Medicine is a system of healthcare that approaches the body as a whole and aims to balance and correct the imbalances by empowering the body's strength physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Its approach is to enhance the bodily systems to heal, protect and achieve wellness.

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Importance of Naturopathic Naturopathic Medicine works to obtain optimal health while enhancing the body's immune system to be able to regain its strength to fight illness and disease itself. The philosophy reflects the belief that the body is of nature and nature has the capability of healing itself. Its perspective of health and the human body is of a whole being and acknowledges and treats the entire body including the mind, body, spirit and emotion. Its approach is different than any conventional medicine practiced in the US today. The philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine dates back to the days of Hippocrates around 400 B.C.

A Naturopath's primary objective it to achieve absolute wellness, prevention of disease and balancing and correcting the body during times of illness and disease. The physician takes a number of different non-invasive approaches to achieve this. First of all, they treat each person as an individual instead of a case or symptom. They do this by spending the time consulting with each patient to understand the person's history from a physical and non-physical perspective to try to grasp the person's patterns of health and lifestyle. They understand that the mind, body and spirit are of one unit and the need for balance is imperative for optimal health. Psychotherapy, life-coaching, spiritual encouragement, education, stress reduction, physical therapies, exercise, life style adjustments, etc. are all incorporated into treatment.

One of the main principles of Naturopathy is in Latin called Vis Mediatrix Naturae, meaning the Healing Power of Nature. Its philosophy reflects that all living systems have the inherit ability to establish, maintain and restore health. A physicians place is to aid and support that path. During times of illness the immune system is struggling due to imbalances or deficiencies in the system. Therapies are administered to enhance and strengthen the immune system and the body's vital

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Importance of Naturopathic force to provide an inner terrain inhospitable to illness. Hippocrates preached the power of nutrition and its healing components. Healing through food is still one of the first approaches in any holistic approach. These days food can be just as detrimental as it can be beneficial and when overlooked may prevent the body from ever really healing. It is believed in many different systems of medicine that health begins in the GI tract. In Naturopathic therapies, diet is closely observed and modified to enhance the body's strength, balance its deficiencies, and help rid it of harmful toxins. Diet, supplements, botanical herbs, life style changes, detoxing, juicing, exercise, hydrotherapy, physical manipulation, proper rest, etc are all incorporated as immune enhancing therapies.

Another principle of Naturopathic philosophy that makes the medicine stand out is `physician as teacher'. This is education addressed to each patient by the physician teaching the responsibility of ones own health and how to understand what the body needs. "The original meaning of the word doctor was `teacher'", (Collinge, 1996).Comprehensive health care programs involve counseling, teaching and supporting the patient to make crucial lifestyle changes about the way they nourish and cherish their body, the sleep they get, how they handle stress, the importance of spirituality and how it is all connected. As well as what is happening physiologically in the body and what they can do to keep it working in harmony. Knowledge is power.

Of the many things that make Naturopaths stand out, is their perspective on disease and symptoms. They study bio-medical science and physiology through nature's eyes. Symptoms may arise from different areas or reasons. Many answers are revealed by observing the GI tract. Symptoms are not the illness, but are the body's attempt to correct, defend, adapt or recover from

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Importance of Naturopathic an illness. "Symptoms are the very mechanisms the body uses to fight infection", (Collinge, 1996). Therefore by taking drugs that suppress the symptoms we are directly combating the body's best efforts to heal, according to Collinge. Naturopaths generally incorporate a wide range of treatments and modalities including Homeopathy; Clinical Nutrition (food as medicine including vitamins and minerals); Physical Medicine (spinal adjustments, massage therapy, hydrotherapy, exercise, ultrasound, electrical stimulation); Botanical Medicine (herbal/phytotherapy) ; Naturopathic Obstetrics (natural prenatal/postpartum care and childbirth); Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture; Ayurvedic Medicine (an ancient system of natural medicine originally from India); Psychological Medicine (psychotherapy, counseling, educating, hypnotherapy); Environmental Medicine (detoxification and restoration therapies to help excrete and overcome the toxic build up from our environment); and even minor surgery when absolutely necessary.

Naturopathic Medicine is important because no other system of health care currently in the US practices with such mixture of therapies to heal, strengthen and protect the human body and spirit. They integrate scientific research with the healing powers of nature. (Web MD).

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Importance of Naturopathic References Collinge, W (1996). Complete Guide to Alternative Medicine. New York: Warner Books, Inc Lee, T (2008). NaturoDoc, Retrieved from http://www.naturodoc.com/ Mork, R (2008). The Benefits of Naturopathic Clinics. Life 123, answers at the speed of life, Retrieved from http://www.life123.com/health/alternativemedicine/naturopathy/the-benefits-of-naturopathicclinics.shtml#STS=fznihwjr.17ob Murray, M & Pizzorno, J (1998). Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Prima Publishing. MyWebND (2006). Naturopathic Philosophy. MyWebND:your healthy alternative. Retrieved (2009, Sept 15) from http://www.mywebnd.com/philosophy.html Ware, S (2008). Naturopathic medicine: heal your body, not your symptoms . Life 123:Answers at the speed of life, Retrieved from http://www.life123.com/health/alternative-medicine/naturopathy/naturopathicmedicine-heal-your-body-not-your-symp.shtml#STS=fznnqws1.i94

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