No prizes for guessing what this means. Well, basically that is. For naturopathy, simple as it sounds, involves just about every element of your life.
And it’s no good just going down the nearest health products shop when you’re sick and grabbing a handful of naturopathic pills and remedies, thinking this will cure all ills. The only way of understanding the subject fully, and how it can benefit you, is to take yourself along to a trained naturopath.
Similar to Ayurvedic Medicine (they’re both recognised and supported by the World Health Organisation), and Oriental healing practices in general, naturopathy treats your body as a whole and doesn’t just concentrate on relieving the symptoms of a single problem. It teaches you how to maintain a healthy body, which will help keep illnesses and ailments away. Have a backache and it could be for many reasons. Not least of these being your lifestyle and poor nutrition.
So when you’re in consultation with your naturopath (and it should take less than an hour) you’ll be asked to give a complete run-down (which is, in most cases, an apt expression!) of your lifestyle, diet and eating patterns. And from there the expert will devise a personalised plan to get your body functioning perfectly again – but by only using totally natural products and achievable fitness goals.
Everybody’s different. So it makes complete sense that nutritional advice given to someone with obesity and insomnia will be totally different to another who suffers from stress and has mood swings. But naturopathy is a lot more than just an individualised dietary plan.
Naturopaths are trained medical herbalists too, with an extensive knowledge of medical treatments and drugs, as well as a complete understanding of the medicinal value of plants. So they can advise and concoct, with professional authority, a personalised combination of liquid herbal extracts or herbal supplement preparations that will perfectly complement your nutritional diet. This part of their work is known as homoeopathy.
But it doesn’t stop there either. The advanced naturopath will be knowledgeable in various flower remedies too. This treatment, although traced through the mists of time to ancient civilizations, was re-popularised by Englishman Dr. Edward Bach in the early part of the 20th century. Different flower essences have been proven to have uncanny beneficial healing properties, especially those of an emotional nature. And when emotional and spiritual problems have been eased, it generally follows that physical ailments do too. Once again, by treating your whole person – physical, spiritual and emotional – and not separating everything up, you’re helping your body to restore itself.
I suppose the best analogy for the benefits of naturopathy is to think about your car. Do you think it’s best to drive it into the ground and only get one thing fixed at a time when it goes wrong? Or do you reckon it’s best to treat it with some respect; checking the oil and air levels weekly and giving it a full service at regularly intervals?