It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than it is to know what sort of disease a person has.
Naturopathy is “a system of health care which encourages and promotes the body’s natural self-healing mechanisms using an eclectic approach” and is based on the principal of Vis Medicatrix Naturae – the healing power of nature. There is a vital force or life force that – given the right conditions – will self-heal or self-correct. This vital force is stimulated by certain factors which promote health and suppressed by excesses and deficiencies. – Good health is much more then just the absence of infirmity – it should include abundant vitality.
The Naturopathic approach can be summed up using the old adage that prevention is better than cure. This means that in Naturopathic medicine, the root (underlying) cause of dysfunction are identified and treated, not the branches (symptoms). Naturopaths treat the whole person, taking into account physical, mental, emotional and spiritual factors. Everyone is unique and therefor each person responds in a different way to treatment. This means that the person is treated – not the disease. Naturopaths not only ask what is the problem but also why.
All disease starts with a disruption to the body’s homeostatic mechanisms and therefore good health implies a return to balance for these mechanisms. For example, the body is continually rebalancing itself within a narrow pH range and the two pillars governing poor health – toxicity and deficiency – will determine the state of that balance. If a person is deficient, treatment would involve “building them up”. If a person is found to be experiencing excess toxicity, treatment would involve “breaking down” toxins in the body (detoxification).
Naturopaths believe that ailments should not be suppressed. Symptoms are there for a reason – they are manifestations of nature’s healing force. Therefore Naturopaths encourage the body to promote it’s innate healing abilities. Ultimately a Naturopath is an educator/teacher as well as a healer, someone who empowers her patients to take responsibility for their own health.