What is a naturopath? It is a term that hasn't been heard very often in our current culture, but the naturopath has been around as far back as the early 1800's in the Western World. In fact, naturopathy was the earliest known healing system, with records of kelp being used for thyroid health by the Chinese 3,000 years ago! Various other cultures (Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, Native Americans, etc) have used natural remedies for thousands of years.
Naturopathy looks at the health of the whole person, believing that the body can heal itself if it is given the right tools. According to Benedict Lust, the U.S. father of Naturopathy, it is "a distinct school of healing, employing the beneficent agency of Nature's forces of water, air, sunlight, earth power, electricity, magnetism, exercise, rest, proper diet, various kinds of mechanical treatment, and mental and moral science." Dr. J.E. Cummins also gives a brief definition: "Naturopathy is the science, art and philosophy of adjusting the framework, correcting the mental influences, and supplying the body with its needed elements."
The naturopath trusts that the natural processes within the body want it to heal. This is addressed through several means, including natural whole herbs, natural vitamins in foods, water, breathing clean air, avoidance of toxins, and rest. The goal is always to identify the cause and support its healing, with the rest improving as a result.
Another strong belief of naturopathy is prevention. It is always better to be on the offensive rather than the defensive when it comes to our health. Heading off small or potential problems is much easier than addressing a health crisis. By identifying the cause of problems, eliminating toxins, and making recommendations to deal with deficiencies, the body's own natural healing abilities will be stimulated. A naturopath and the modalities encouraged do not cure. They give the body the tools it needs so that it can "cure" itself. It is also recognized there is not a "one size fits all" recommendation for specific challenges. The whole person must be looked at - body, mind, spirit - with the best suggestions for that individual being given.
For the person seeking health through natural methods, it requires taking responsibility for ourselves, our lives, our choices. In most cases, this will result in needing to make some lifestyle changes. While some of these changes may seem difficult at first, the end result can be more energy, a better overall mental and emotional state, a new awareness of which choices add vitality, along with knowledge of the choices we make that damage us in various aspects of our lives. It's empowering to take control of your health!
As a naturopath, my prayer is that I will be allowed to help others to be the best, healthiest version of themselves that they can be so that they can live the abundant life our Creator intended. If you are ready to experience the world of natural health, contact me for more information. I would be honored to assist you in any way that I possibly can!
Source: Combining Old and New Naturopathy for the 21st Century by Robert J. Thiel, PhD
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Restoring Wellness Tami Gabrielson Board Certified Naturopath Digestive Health Professional Certified Health Coach Certified Natural Health Professional
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