Diets don’t work because they they’re about deprivation and denial. Our philosophy is one of not just nutrition but self-nourishment; not just quick-fixes but deep healing and not just temporary change but transformation that lasts a lifetime.
First, a quick philosophy lesson! The underlying principle of what we do is based in holistic philosophy.
In a nutshell, naturopathic practitioners work with nature to restore people’s health. Here are the 6 Principles of Natural Medicine.
- Recognises the Healing Power of Nature
The healing power of nature is the inherent self-organising and healing process of the body which establishes, maintains and restores health. Natural medicine recognises this healing process to be ordered and intelligent.
An example of this inherent intelligence within our bodies is wound healing. No one tells the wound to heal, the body is programmed to heal itself. It’s our job to support, facilitate and augment this process by:
- Identifying and removing obstacles to health and recovery and,
- Creating a healthy internal and external environment.
- Identifies and Treats the Causes
Illness does not occur without cause. Causes may originate in many areas. Underlying causes of illness and disease must be identified and removed before complete recovery can occur. Symptoms can be expressions of the body’s attempt to defend itself, to adapt and recover, to heal itself. It’s our job to treat the causes of disease, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
For example, the common cold. If you get it once, it’s rest, drink fluids, stop eating for a day. If it happens over and over, then you would look for a cause. Is it the immune system? Is it stress? Is it allergies, and so on.
- First, Does No Harm
Natural medicine follows these principles to avoid harming the patient:
- Use methods and medicinal substances which minimise the risk of harmful effects, and apply the least possible force or intervention necessary to diagnose illness and restore health.
- Whenever possible the suppression of symptoms is avoided as suppression generally interferes with the healing process.
An example would be fever. Fever is the body’s attempt to create an environment that discourages bacterial growth. If you suppress fever, you may be making it harder for the body to overcome infection.
- Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
The original meaning of the word “doctor” is teacher. A principal objective of natural medicine is to educate the patient so they can take feel empowered and take responsibility for their health.
- Treats the Whole Person
Health and disease result from a complex of physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Natural medicine recognises the harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual as being essential to health.
For example, picture 4 people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Even though they all have IBS, one is stressed and under huge pressure at work; another is a mum with 3 kids quietly feeling unsupported by her husband, someone else might be sensitive to gluten, another might have picked up a bug while travelling overseas, and so on. Different person, same condition but different treatment.
- Focuses on Prevention
There is health and there is disease! The two can be quite different! The prevention of disease and the attainment of optimal health are the primary objectives of natural medicine. These objectives are accomplished through education and the promotion of healthy ways of living. So risk factors are important, family history is important and your lifestyle and environment is definitely the most important.
So when we apply treatments to weight or weight-related issues, we want the whole body to heal; we want inflammation in the whole body to reduce, we want the blood healthy everywhere in the body, we want all of the cells to be well nourished and all the systems of the body working well, including our minds. This is the principle behind all of the practices of natural medicine – dietary improvements, herbs, detoxification programs, digestive system treatments, exercise, stress management, positive thoughts and so on.
The Psychology of Eating
What do emotions and health have to do with each other? A lot. Our emotions play such a crucial role in how we form and maintain our eating habits, and therefore our health. We adapt to certain patterns in order to protect ourselves from our painful feelings. Food choices can become one of the ways we “avoid” what is really going on. Compulsions and food addictions can come into play and we are stuck in a daily struggle. Self-care is missing and in the void we instead practice self-discare with emotional food choices, which can even lead to disease.
For real change to occur, to heal ourselves and become whole, we need to integrate emotions and behavioural patterns. Otherwise, changing eating and self-care habits will always be a struggle. Our emotional stress affects us daily and therefore our daily choices.
We cannot “just get a grip” as we tend to tell ourselves. The psychology of eating is complex and it is a process of unraveling our ingrained habits as they relate to and depend on our emotions. Therefore a process of exploration and discovery, building awareness, and creating new ways to self-soothe is essential. It is a gentle process of waking up to ourselves by seeing, learning, listening, and relating to our emotions in a compassionate and supportive way. Taking one step at a time for change, we can feel safe exploring what is holding us back from living our full healthy potential.
“The way we eat is the way we live. The food we eat becomes
part of how we feel, think, act and grow-every day.”
Join the health revolution!