Where I’m from in Sydney Australia, to see a Naturopath is a common as to see a doctor! My husbands job has recently brought us to Cornwall in the UK, and it’s in this beautifully wild and rugged part of the world that I’ve set up practice. However, I’ve discovered that here in Cornwall Naturopathy is not so widely publicised, so I’ll explain what it’s all about! Put simply, Naturopathy is a discipline that involves the combination of nutritional medicine, herbal medicine and energetic essences with dietary and lifestyle counselling. It is a holistic healing practice that employs evidenced based knowledge and techniques to help promote self-healing on a physical, psychological and spiritual level.
The Naturopathic Philosophy
The philosophy of Naturopathy is framed around the Six Fundamental Healing Principles (aka The Six Maxims):
1. Primum Non Nocere ~ First do no Harm
The first and foremost principle of Naturopathy is to always avoid inflicting any harm on the body. Through evidenced based practice, Naturopaths understand the phytochemistry, therapeutic dosages and interactions of herbs and nutrients. By promoting the body’s natural healing process, treatment plans are simple and non-invasive.
2. Vis Medicatrix Naturae ~ The Healing Power of Nature
Understanding the power of Mother Nature is vital for health and wellbeing. We would not survive without fresh air, clean water, the sun and the earth in which we grow our food. In line with the laws of nature, our bodies have their own inherent self-healing mechanisms.
3. Tolle Causam ~ Identify and Treat the Cause
This is the understanding that identifying and removing the underlying causes of illness, rather than suppressing the symptoms, will restore the body back to health. Signs and symptoms such as a headache or a rash should not be treated individually, but instead be looked upon as warning signs of an imbalance. Sometimes the cause of a disease is unknown or life threatening, in which case all measures are to be taken to restore the body back to health through the combination of evidenced based natural medicine and the technology of modern medicine.
4. Tolle Totum ~ Treat the Whole Person
Humans are complex and interconnected, as should our approach to treatment be. The health status of an individual is the result of physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, environmental and genetic factors. Through addressing each of these elements, a thorough treatment plan can be created.
5. Docere ~ To Teach
The role of the Naturopath is to empower clients to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. Naturopaths provide their clients with education on disease, wellness, and the role that diet, exercise and lifestyle play in determining their health status. Naturopaths inspire clients with recipes, exercise programs, and lifestyle ideas, as well as providing herbs and nutrients to aid the body’s natural healing process.
6. Preventare ~ To Prevent
Preventing disease is the ultimate aim of Naturopathic medicine. It is the Naturopath’s goal to identify signs of imbalance within the body and correct them, before they progress into a diagnosed disease. Naturopaths employ tools that look at the patient’s risks factors or susceptibilities to developing a disease, and provide treatment to help avoid disease progression.