Help Yourself to Better Health
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame,
in proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” Thomas A. Edison.
This is a guide to Natural Health Care or Naturopathy. It is designed to give you a better understanding
of how you can help yourself to better health.
Click on any of these:
Only Nature Heals
Back To Basics
What Can You Expect When You Consult Me?
History Of Naturopathy
How Are Naturopaths Trained?
The General Council & Register of Naturopaths (GCRN)
The General Naturopathic Council
Only Nature Heals
If each of us has the ability to heal ourselves
What happens when something goes wrong and
How do you discover what the problem is?
There are three places to look:
Your body chemistry
Your body structure
Your mental or emotional self
What you eat and how you eat affects your body’s make up or bio-chemistry. Our bodies struggle to function properly if we become out of balance structurally. Our thoughts and emotions also affect our health. These three areas, body chemistry, structure and mind/emotions are not separate. The symptoms and the signs of dis-ease are only an outward expression of an inner imbalance.
Back To Basics
The human body has taken millions of years to evolve to what it is today. It has come to expect certain foods for its fuel, a certain amount of sunlight and fresh air, and a certain amount of exercise and relaxation. We are healthiest when we are living as close to these expectations as possible. Sometimes our modern life means that it is not possible to live as our bodies would like and we need extra help to support our lifestyle. However, there is no substitute for getting the basic things right.
Just like a high performance car, we function at our best when we put the right fuel in our ‘engine’. During the time we were evolving there was only one fuel available, the natural kind. Our early ancestors ate what was around them. Of course these foods didn’t have any pesticides or other chemicals sprayed on them. Modern foods sprayed with synthetic chemicals seem totally foreign to the body. We can get close to eating the correct “fuel” by eating the types of foods our ancestors did. This would be organically produced fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Fish from clean waters and organically reared meat.
Naturopaths have been helping people to better health for over 100 years.
Good health is, for the majority of people, achievable. Naturopaths can help you work out whether there are any problems with your diet and physical structure, and will help you find any emotional blocks to your gaining better health.
What can you expect when you consult me?
The diagnosis you may have been given already is taken into account, but is often only a label. The first visit is aimed at developing a thorough understanding of your problem. You will be asked detailed questions about your general health and past medical history. This will follow a detailed Health Appraisal Questionairre which you will have been sent prior to your appointment. Further tests such as VegaCheck and Saliva and Urine analysis will be explained to you on this first visit All this information helps the me piece together what may be contributing to the imbalance.
What Naturopathic Treatment may involve:
The Naturopath aims to identify the causative factors which are creating functional disturbance. This would include evidence of both sub-clinical disease and any gross pathology. In order to make an assessment it is necessary to recognise that
- Underlying causes of dysfunction should be identified where possible.
- Structural, biochemical and mental/emotional factors may all contribute to the patient’s condition.
- The individual genetic make-up of the patient, the inherited miasmata and the environment are predisposing factors in the expression of disease and will contribute to the individual’s experience of that disease.
- There is often multifarious causation. A diverse range of factors may play a role in disease processes There is usually a cumulative effect of predisposing factors and a final excitatory or trigger factor.
Naturopathic assessment may include the following elements;
- Case history taking
- Analysis of lifestyle and environment
- Clinical examination
- Clinical tests
- Laboratory testing and diagnostic methods
My first step is to guide you on how you can adapt your lifestyle and diet to be more conducive to health. But I also employ certain treatment modalities. Unlike other healthcare practitioners Naturopaths do not employ one specific modality.
Naturopaths use many different modalities with the one proviso, that they are used in a way which works with the body’s own healing efforts. Whilst the principles of Naturopathy are really common sense applied to health, the Naturopath is qualified to use sophisticated treatments to encourage the body to return to health if it is appropriate.
The History Of Naturopathy
The Nature Cure Movement began in Europe, early in the nineteenth century. Vincent Priessnitz, born in 1799 in Grafenburg, Silesia, a farmer's son, noted for his intelligence and excellent powers of observation, became interested in the behaviour of sick animals. He found that in the main these animals did not eat during their sickness and tried to get to streams and rivers to bathe in the running water. Some time later, Priessnitz was injured in an accident, suffering a leg injury that proved unresponsive to medical treatment. Remembering how sick animals behaved in similar circumstances, he evolved a method of water treatment that in time returned his leg to normal use. He subsequently gained a reputation as a healer by water and he gradually built an establishment which could deal with one thousand patients at a time. This was the beginning of hydrotherapy, which later spread all over the world. A Bavarian monk, Father Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897) popularized hydrotherapy in the Austro-German area, and wrote one of the best known books on the subject, 'My Water-Cure'.
A contemporary of Priessnitz's, Johann Schroth, was the first modern naturopath to employ clinical nutrition, or the use of diet as a therapy. His treatment, the Schrothkur, or dry diet, is still much used in central Europe. He has been followed ever since by a great many who prescribed nutrition, food rotation, wholefood diets, dietary support or restrictions as part of naturopathic treatment. A number of practitioners trained by Priessnitz, Kneipp and Schroth made their way to America, and were soon involved in the fledgling naturopathic movement there. Pioneers such as John Harvey Kellogg, who together with his brother had developed the well known corn flakes for his patients at Battle Creek Sanitarium during the 1880s, set up a laboratory there less than a decade later to study the clinical application of hydrotherapy. This was to lead in 1902 to the publication of his 'Rational Hydrotherapy', which became the first, very exhaustive, scientific treatise of hydrotherapy. Others such as Isaac Jennings (1788-1874) and Sylvester Graham (1794-1851), Adolph Just (1853-1939) and Louis Kuhne (1823-1907), were all placing very great emphasis on what is now accepted as healthy dietary modification.
Also worth mentioning was the famous American naturopath Bernarr McFadden who was the founder of the modern physical culture school of health and healing, which he nicknamed 'physcultopathy'. He compiled the superbly executed and well illustrated 'Encyclopaedia of Health' in eight volumes (3846 pages) which he published in New York in 1937. This naturopathic school of healing gave birth across the world to gymnasiums at which exercise programs, designed to allow the individual man or woman to achieve and maintain the most perfect state of health and peak physical and resultant mental condition. It was also the initial trigger for the proliferation of today's outdoor trim parks and routine exercises like hiking, jogging, swimming and cycling.
Perhaps the man who has made the largest contribution to putting Nature Cure on a modem comprehensive and scientific basis was Dr H Lindlahr, who propounded the theory that “every acute disease is a healing effort of Nature”. Lindlahr did great work in coordinating all the different aspects of naturopathic treatments into one exact and complete science. He founded the Lindlahr Sanitorium in Chicago and wrote extensively. Two of his works were ‘The Philosophy of Nature Cure’ and ‘The Practice of Nature Cure’.
Philosophy (further information)
What Is A Naturopath?
A Naturopath is a person who applies treatment modalities based on the principles of Naturopathic
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is the system of primary health care which works with the individual’s efforts towards the optimal expression of physiological, physical, and psychological (mental/emotional) health.
Naturopathy is an approach to health care which aims to promote, restore and maintain health. The following principles underpin the practise of Naturopathy:
- The Healing Power of Nature or Vis Medicatrix Naturae: There is a ‘vital force’ or ‘life force’ which drives the self-healing or self-correcting mechanisms of the body.
- The Triad of Health, which describes the connection and interaction between the structural, biochemical and mental/emotional components of all living beings. Dysfunction in one area invariably leads to disruption elsewhere.
- The Uniqueness of the Individual: People are genetically, biochemically, structurally and emotionally different from one another. Each person responds in a unique way to influences whether they are mental/emotional, structural, nutritional, social or cultural.
Naturopaths also recognise that:
- Health is more than the absence of disease. It is dependent upon a multitude of factors and is a reflection of a harmonious interaction with our environment.
- Acute disease processes are different from chronic processes. The acute response is the body’s attempt to restore health often through enhanced processes of elimination. Suppression of such healing processes contributes to the potential for chronic breakdown.
- Disease processes involve activation of the body’s homeostatic mechanisms. Health is homeostasis - a dynamic equilibrium.
- The individual requires suitable foods for nourishment, clean water, fresh air and sunlight, as well as appropriate exercise, rest and relaxation.
- Prevention is preferable to cure.
The defining elements of Naturopathic practise are that Naturopaths:
- Work with the body’s own self-correcting mechanisms or efforts to maintain homeostasis.
- Endeavour to address all aspects of the Triad of Health.
- Regard education and co-operation of the patient as highly as treatment of the patient.
- Address lifestyle factors which are contributing to the problem and re-educate the patient into a lifestyle more conducive to health.
- Aim to establish health on a cellular level by improving circulation and innervation, nutrition, detoxification and elimination.
The Naturopath always seeks to:
- Do no harm.
- Employ methods which work with the body’s healing power and self-correcting mechanisms and avoid treatments which may work against these mechanisms and which suppress acute diseases.
- Deal with underlying causes of dysfunction where possible.
- Reduce the burden of load. It may not always be possible to identify the underlying causes of the problem, but often a number of contributory factors can be identified. It is preferable to reduce the overall burden on the body using established naturopathic means.
- Sometimes it may be necessary to use short term measures which assist in the removal of symptoms for the comfort or safety of the individual, however it is important to also employ long-term health restoration measures.
- Attempt to address all aspects of the Naturopathic Triad of Health.
- Employ simple treatments before more complex, where possible.
- Support patients’ efforts in gaining and maintaining control of their own health.
Because Naturopathy is above all an approach to health care, there are many treatment modalities which can be employed. However, they are always applied in a way which works with the body's own healing efforts and are used in accordance with the principles of treatment previously specified. Treatments may primarily be concerned with the biochemical, structural or mental/emotional depending upon the nature of the problem.
The core naturopathic modalities are:
- Clinical dietetics and applied nutrition.
- Detoxification techniques.
- Physical Therapy. Examples include osteopathy/chiropractic (by an appropriately registered practitioner), naturopathic physical manipulation, manual lymphatic drainage, massage and other soft tissue techniques e.g. neuromuscular technique.
- Psychotherapeutic techniques.
- Offering advice regarding a healthy lifestyle.
- Other therapies may be employed as part of naturopathic practice (where the practitioner has gained a suitable additional qualification).
An integral part of naturopathic treatment includes being able to educate the patient in all elements of healthy living.
How Are Naturopaths Trained?
Naturopaths undergo an intensive training. They study the same basic medical sciences as doctors including anatomy, physiology, pathology and pharmacology. In addition they study, nutrition, clinical dietetics, detoxification techniques and hydrotherapy (the therapeutic effects of water). They study the physical structure of the body and the influence of the emotions on health and disease. They of course study the principles of Naturopathic Medicine. Many Naturopaths have also undertaken post-graduate courses in other treatment areas such as Herbal medicine or Acupuncture.
The General Council & Register of Naturopaths (GCRN)
What is the GCRN?
The GCRN was officially incorporated in 1965 as an independent registering body, but can trace its roots back to 1925 and the formation of the Nature Cure Society of Great Britain
- to establish and maintain standards of education for practitioners and to provide for the inspection of colleges and courses of naturopathy for the protection and benefit of the public;
- to keep a register of persons qualified to practise naturopathy in conformity with the standards of the Register;
- to supervise the ethical behaviour and professional conduct of the practitioners registered by us;
- to encourage the development of naturopathy on the lines of sound knowledge and practice and to improve the educational standards of our members by encouraging continuing post-graduate education; and
- to provide for and promote education, investigation and research into the science and art of naturopathy and to disseminate the results of such research.
- Use the website at www.naturopathy.org.uk
The General Council and Register of Naturopaths (GCRN)
2 Goswell Road,