Naturopathy is a holistic form of healing, and is based on the healing power of nature. Nowadays this form of alternative medicine is very popular, probably due to the loss of faith most of us have in the classical clinical approach each time doctors have, even when we suffer from a simple headache!
What naturopaths do is study a patient in depth, taking into consideration the totality of the mind, spirit and body. The patients psychological and physical past conditions are studied in depth, in order to build a complete historical map of each individual condition. Once this has been done, in general most naturopathic doctors will work on eliminating the cause and not the symptoms, using several different techniques and therapies.
Naturopathy works with a combination of techniques, which include homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal cures and nutrition plans. The naturopath will focus on two main areas; changing the individuals lifestyle habits in order to re-establish a well adapted healthier pattern, and stimulate the bodys own healing powers.
Naturopathy will help both chronic conditions and temporary disorders, but most important of all is the preventive approach of this alternative form of medicine. Naturopathy aims at the prevention of disease, by analysing in depth each individual and establishing the default in our lifestyle. Once the unhealthy pattern is found, it is corrected in order to avoid diseases or disorders that can be the outcome of these negative lifestyles.
If you do decide to visit a naturopathic doctor, you will be surprised on how long your first visit will last. In general, the doctor will keep you for at least one hour, in order to establish the type of lifestyle you lead, your diet habits, the forms of stress you may have at home or at work, including any environmental exposures you may be subject to. The doctor will proceed with a physical examination, which may also include laboratory tests that will determine your specific absorption of nutrients and digestive process, as well as providing other chemical results.
What your naturopath is in fact doing is treating you as a whole, he or she will give you a complete nutritional counseling as well as a psychological one. Often treatments may include herbal or homeopathic medicine, acupuncture or hydrotherapy (water therapy), physical medicine, detoxification and spiritual development.
Hydrotherapy works on the benefits of water, both in the drinking of natural spring water as well as the taking of baths, exercising in water, and alternating hot and cold water, in order to stimulate the blood and immune system. Physical medicine is a more natural approach to healing, which involves slight pressure of hands, as well as hot and cold compresses, electric currents and sound waves, which stimulate the spinal chord, bones and muscles.
Naturopathy concentrates on the individuals general well being, therefore it is difficult to determine whether naturopathy can cure a determine type of problem. However, when a healthy and natural balance is achieved, most ailments are cured through this general re-establishment of a healthy lifestyle and stimulation of the bodys defences.