Naturopathic medicine provides a holistic approach to health care. A holistic approach takes into account the human being as a whole. It's more of a bird's eye view approach than zooming in on one part. The naturopathic approach considers mind, body and spirit, and we consider these aspects regardless of what condition a client presents with. We see this as a necessary approach to health because nothing in the body works in isolation.
Examples of this are:
In body systems, improving digestive health has been shown to positively affect mental health, hormonal balance, and weight management, as these systems are interconnected in a myriad of ways. If a client were to present with IBS, we would not only pay attention to their digestive symptoms. We would ask questions to understand where else in their body is being impacted.
The mind-body connection is also incredibly important to consider, as we can witness what happens in our bodies when we are under psychological stress. When our immune systems function poorly, our digestion suffers, we crave unhealthy foods, and we struggle to maintain a healthy weight.
Naturopathy also seeks to understand the root or underlying reason/s for the symptoms you are presenting with. We aim to treat the cause, not just the symptoms.
A significant emphasis is also placed on the approach that "prevention is better than cure". This means that although conditions may occur for seemingly no reason, or due to genetics, many health conditions affecting society today are considered preventable/lifestyle-influenced diseases.
We can modify our behaviours to reduce our risk of developing a preventable disease. This can be done by taking an approach that examines our current behaviours (diet and lifestyle) and compares them with behaviours we know are risk factors for developing preventable diseases.
The final precept underlying the naturopathic approach is utilising nature's healing power by acknowledging how nature provides us with what we need.
- The abundance of nutritious foods that are available to us
- The incredible herbs that have been utilised traditionally for thousands of years (the use of many of these now being supported through science)
- The use of naturally occurring vitamins/minerals to encourage health.
This also means remembering that, generally speaking, if the right conditions are provided, our bodies can return to health and are incredibly resilient in their nature.
These are the principles by which Naturopaths are guided to support you in finding balance and working towards being your healthiest version.