A naturopath will concentrate on helping your body to heal itself rather than prescribe any conventional medicine. The treatment will usually take place at an integrated medical centre or clinic and will include herbal medicine as well as meditation. The objective is to promote overall health and wellbeing through the removal of toxins from the body rather than the treatment of a particular illness or disease.
What to expect from a naturopath at an integrated medical centre
When you visit an integrated medical centre, the naturopath will want to know about your medical history, including any medication that you are currently taking. You may have gone to the clinic with a specific complaint, or you may feel that you may feel sluggish and lethargic and require assistance to improve your overall health and wellbeing. The naturopath may suggest lifestyle changes, nutritional support in the form of herbal medicine or meditation. The treatment will be tailored to your needs and condition.
Five common forms of treatment
Naturopathy is a broad branch of alternative and holistic medicine. It encompasses many types of therapy and is designed to improve overall wellbeing and restore your body to optimum health. There are many different forms of treatment, but some of the ones that you may be most familiar with are:
Meditation is an ancient practice where the individual adopts a state of complete relaxation using breathing techniques, mindfulness, or by focusing on a particular object to relax. The goal is to train the body to be aware and focused to achieve mental clarity while remaining emotionally calm.
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves the inserting of fine needles into the skin and muscles to restore the body’s Yin and Yang. The body’s Qi is re-established to give an overall feeling of wellbeing. It is used to treat a variety of ailments, including migraines, sciatica, and lower back pain, as well as fertility issues.
Herbal medicine uses a concoction that will use a carefully selected range of herbs that are categorised by temperature, taste, function and the plant source. The objective is to restore the body’s Yin and Yang by removing pathogenic problems that may lie in the meridian lines. It is an ancient Chinese practice that is popular today and frequently used by the Neighbourhood Clinic. It is usually consumed as a tea or made by mixing with a powdered solution with water.
Most areas of medicine are in agreement that exercise is excellent for overall health and wellbeing. Exercise releases endorphins that can ease pain and create a positive feeling within the body. The level of activity that you should participate in is dependent on your age and physical condition. You should always consult a medical professional before starting any new form of exercise program.
Osteo and remedial massage therapy
Osteo massages are often used to create a sense of overall health and wellbeing and does not focus on particular joints or areas of pain. Remedial massages are designed to promote both joint and muscle recovery after injury or exercise. Both forms of massage are relaxing and have a positive effect on the patient’s overall health.
The six principles of naturopathy
Naturopathy, like other forms of alternative medicine, follows a strict set of beliefs. These principles are:
- Using naturally occurring herbs to promote self-healing and enhance wellbeing
- Naturopathy should not cause harm to anyone or anything else
- The purpose is to treat the cause rather than the symptoms
- Prevention is better than cure
- To educate and empower the individual to look after their wellbeing and health
- It is a “whole-body” form of treatment encapsulating social, genetic, emotional and environmental factors.
Not a replacement for conventional medicine
Most medical professionals, including those at the Neighbourhood Clinic, think that naturopathy is a complementary form of medicine and should not replace conventional medicine. We would always suggest that you consult with your primary healthcare provider before commencing treatment.
Dangers and risks
Herbal medicine can interact with prescription medication as well as have side-effects. On the whole, naturopathy is viewed as being a safe form of medicine and research has been favourable for the positive impact of many types of treatment. However, ongoing research is still taking place on the subject.