When I tell people I am a naturopath they usually say ‘what is that?’ A naturopath is a practitioner who applies natural therapies.

The therapies I have learned are nutrition, herbal medicine, iridology (diagnostic tool, looking at the eye to identify constitutional weakness or strengths), flower essences, homeopathy, fasting, detoxification and tissue salts.

Instead of ‘one shoe fits all’ approach of modern medicine, naturopathy sees that each person has a unique bio-chemical make up.

The history of naturopathy is underpinned in the of teaching biomedicine. This gives a robustness to the diagnosis of the problem.

I like hard facts in my clinic. Working in the dark just prolongs the problem and does not get results. Patients blood results may be looked at and a whole array of other tests and diagnostic skills considered before a treatment plan is drawn up, so that the person has a unique package of care which targets the root cause.

Having worked in the NHS for many years, it is clear that the system is under strain and we have an ‘ill health’ system, not a ‘health’ system. In order to have a health system that can sustain Britain through the next millennium, we need to be looking at prevention of ill health.

Naturopathy is very skillful at addressing the bodies needs and correcting imbalance.

In order to be in excellent health, a naturopath looks at dietary nutritional deficiencies, water intake, environmental reasons for ill health, stress levels, biochemistry etc.

Naturopathy is a quirky profession, some say it is full of mavericks and this is probably true, because no one Naturopath treats exactly the same as another. Often they specialise in a particular subject, or their dominant profession may be acupuncture such as mine, or perhaps nutrition.

For example, when I qualify I will consider myself a ‘Naturopathic acupuncturist’. It is a profession hard to pin down, but in fact is does have several guiding principles:

The Healing Power of Nature
Nature has the innate ability to heal

Identify and Treat the Cause
There is always an underlying cause, be it physical or emotional

Do No Harm
A Naturopath will never use treatments that may create other conditions

Treat the Whole Person
When preparing a treatment plan, all aspects of a person’s being are taken into consideration

The Physician as Teacher
A Naturopath empowers the patient to take responsibility for his/her own health by teaching self-care

Prevention is better than Cure
A Naturopath may remove toxic substances and situations from a patient’s lifestyle to prevent the onset of further disease

The amount of research coming out all of the time regarding new natural approaches to medicine has to be a good thing. Whilst pharmaceutical drugs are sometimes life changing and often life saving, polypharmacy is a massively worrying development in my eyes. The Liver only has so much detoxifying capacity and a lot of what I see in clinic is over congested livers and under functioning digestive system. This is a bad recipe for health.

Having seen great improvement to peoples’ health with acupuncture, herbs, dietary changes, supplements, detox and addressing stress levels my job is made so much easier with the tools offered by naturopathy.

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