Nature cure (Naturopathy) is a distinct system of primary health care, an art, science, philosophy and practice of diagnosing, treating and preventing disease.
Nature cure is a distinct system of primary health care, an art, science, philosophy and practice of diagnosing, treating and preventing disease. Naturopathy physicians seek to restore and maintain optimum health. Naturopathy is defined by principles rather than by methods or modalities. Diagnostic and therapeutic methods are diverse and will continue to evolve as knowledge of health and diseases expands. The following principles are the foundation for natural cures practice.
The Healing Power of Nature
The human body has the inherent ability to restore natural health. Healing is an ordered process which includes the generations of symptoms that are part of the mechanism of the biological system attempting to heal the body itself. The doctor’s role is to facilitate and augment this process with therapeutic actions complementary to and synergistic with, this healing process.
Body is made up of five great elements
Every cell in the human body is constituted by five great elements viz. Akash, Vayu, Tej, Apa & Pruthvi. And hence any alteration (Physiological or Pathological) in this original frame, can only be repaired by using these Pancha mahabhuthas (ether, air, fire, water, earth) in the same or modified form.
Identify and treat the cause
Illness does not occur without cause. And the main cause for most of the diseases is violation of nature’s laws. Symptoms are not the cause of illness. Symptoms are signals that the body is out of balance and are expression of the body’s attempt to heal itself. Causes originate at many levels, but are often found in the patient’s lifestyle, diet, habits or emotional state. When only the symptoms are treated, the underlying causes remain and the patient may develop a more serious chronic condition. The physician must evaluate the fundamental underlying causes directing treatment at root causes and not just at symptomatic relief.
Feeling of well being, means establishing and maintaining optimum health and balance, ‘wellness’ is a state of health, characterized by positive emotions, thought and action. ‘Wellness’ is inherent in everyone, no matter what diseases are being experienced. If ‘wellness’ is really recognized and experienced by an individual, it will more quickly heal a given disease that direct treatment of the disease alone.
Treat the whole person
Health and disease result from a complex interaction of physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, spiritual and other factors. The harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual is essential for health within the body, the different systems are intimately connected and dynamically balanced. Hence “Disease” or imbalance in one part directly affects the other parts of that “whole”. There is never a single cause for disease. All of the “pieces” must be integrated in order to create a whole picture of an individual and his/her illness. Therapy can then be directed at underlying as well as immediate causative factors, thus treating the whole person. It is the physician’s ability to use multiple natural therapeutic modalities which allows maximum effectiveness.
First, do no harm
Nature cure uses therapies that are very safe. Accordingly and respecting the inherent ability of the organism to heal itself, the physician must be ever mindful of the consequences (side effects) of treatment. The more gentle and non-invasive, the therapy, the less disruptive it will be to the patient’s integral ‘whole’ Whenever possible, suppression of symptoms is avoided as suppression may interfere with the healing process. The strength of our practice comes from the correct application and sequencing of our therapies and medicines.
Prevention-the best cure
The ultimate goal of any health care system should be prevention. This is accomplished through education, personal counseling and good health. Health is a reflection of how we choose to live. Nature cure physicians help patients to recognize their choices and how those choices affect their health. They always emphasize the prevention of disease assessing risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease, and making appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Naturopathy strives to create a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.
The Doctor as Teacher
The actual meaning of the word ‘Doctor’ is ‘Teacher’. A physician is a facilitator for a patient’s healing process. Nature cure physicians educate the patient and encourage self responsibility for heath. They also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship. Beyond and accurate diagnosis and appropriate prescription, the Naturopathy physicians work to create a healthy, sensitive, interpersonal relationship with a patient.
They educate their patients to optimize their life styles to increase immune defenses and avoid illness. In addition, the patients learn how to recognize and deal with health problems at home with natural remedies. The physician, often as a “health coach” provid evaluation and recommendations for patients, who are committed to become healthier.
The Nature Cure Practice
The current practice of Naturopathy covers the full practice of its therapeutics excluding major surgery and the use of any pharmacological drugs. It’s practice includes, but is not limited to, the following diagnostic and therapeutic modalities of natural living, natural hygiene, fasting and hydrotherapy nutritional science,, botanical science, physical medicine (including the therapeutic applications of water, earth, sun light, air, heat cold), psychological counseling, natural childbirth, massage reflexology, magneto therapy, chromo therapy, physiotherapy, electrotherapy, pranic healing, yoga discipline and yoga therapy, iridology and all methods of laboratory and clinical diagnosis.
In short, naturopathy includes all the available non invasive treatments and diagnostic modalities which do not interfere with the body’s natural functional capacity and healing process and are in conformity with nature’s constructive principles.
Nature cure provides a flexible therapeutic system. The role of the physician is to be comfortable with multiple treatment modalities, so the patient has options regarding treatment method and intensity.
What makes the following therapeutics, a part of the therapeutic scope of practice, is the way they are applied i.e., on the basis of the natural principles of healing.
Natural living & Hygiene (Return to Nature)
The very basic requirement for health is natural living and hygiene. Maintenance of optimum health and prevention of various diseases is possible only when one follows a natural life style within the boundaries of constructive principle of nature.
Clinical Nutrition and fasting therapy
Food is the best medicine, is the corner stone of nature cure practice. Many medical conditions can be treated more effectively with dietary changes and nutural diet. Regulation of the dietary intake is a basic therapeutic tool. The patient’s nutritional intake is to be adjusted according to the need for anabolic and catabolic measures. The quality of the nutritional intake is regarded as one of the principle-determinants of the body’s ability to maintain resistance to disease and can in some cases, be responsible for certain illnesses. Naturopaths, therefore place much emphasis on the requirements of a basic health diet for maintaining bodily functions and optimal resistance to disease. They also use dietetic controls and applied nutrition to stimulate and potentate the body’s recuperative powers in cases of acute and chronic illness.
Modern life is full with tensions and anxieties which continues to crush the afflicted individuals with increasing morbidity and mortality. In spite of modern man’s understanding of the structure and dynamics of the physical universe, he is unable to understand, the inner world within the self. Despite technological growth and enhanced material standards of living, the real standard of living in terms of live, happiness, joy and peace has yet to find its roots. Yoga and spirituality contain secrets of the structure and laws of the entire universe.
Based on that wisdom, yoga offers a unique evergreen life to modern man. Yoga is a systematic conscious process for accelerating the growth of a human being from his animal level to normalcy, then to super human level, and ultimately to divinity. It is a systematic methodology for an all round personality development.
The art and science of touch, massage and manipulation are also basic tolls in nature cure practice. Naturopathy has its own methods of therapeutic manipulation of muscles, bones and various organs. The naturopath uses massage, physiotherapy, exercise therapy, hydrotherapy, electrotherapy therapeutically. The integration of these therapies in a physician’s daily practice creates a contact with that patient which is directly therapeutic. The “tone” of a physician’s touch is a key ingredient in establishing a successful, trusting relationship with the patient because of its powerful nonverbal communication.
Oriental medicine has a complementary healing philosophy to naturopathic medicine. Meridian theory offers an important understanding of the unity of the body and mind. Acupressure, reflexology and acupuncture provide a method of treatment which can unify and reharmonize the imbalances present in diseased conditions which if unhealed can result in illness.
Mental attitudes and emotional states influence or even cause physical illness. Yoga therapy, counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, hydrotherapy, pranic healing, bio feedback are other therapies which are used to help patients on the psychological level.
Prevention is something close to the heart of every naturopath. The early detection of abnormalities is of great value to enable practitioners to initiate appropriate treatment but in my view many naturopaths detract from the importance of health education. It is clear that because of its health promoting orientation nature cure practice is a preventive system par excellence.
One of the most frequent criticisms of natural cure practice in the past has been lack of scientific verification. This is true. There is a dearth of the objective documentation of many of basic naturopathic procedures, but here are many difficulties inherent in the currently acceptable research methods as far as their application to natural therapeutics is concerned. Now, the growing interest in natural health care has precipitated a growing need for both basic and clinical research in naturopathic medicine and yoga therapy. The major goals of present researching is to provide new insights through systematic observations and experimentation, into a nature of healing to provide empirical evidence using modern methods for the efficiency of naturopathy regimes.