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Naturopathy - Lesson 1

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Terri R.
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Joined: 21 Apr 2004
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Location: So. Calif.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:09 p    Post subject: Naturopathy - Lesson 1 Reply with quote

The following information is being posted here unedited, and with the express written permission of Dr. Robert Harris.

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Robert Harris

Any questions or comments to me about this lesson should be placed right in THIS folder; it will help me to keep track of them better and provide quicker feedback.

LESSON 1 - Teachers and Counselors in Natural Healing

Although the term "Naturopathy" originated in the late 19th Century, the art can be traced back through Germany into Greece, to Hippocrates himself, and even beyond. There have always been people who understood that healing will occur naturally in the human body, if it is given what it truly needs, that is, proper diet, pure water, fresh air, sunlight, exercise, and rest. For these people, the emphasis has not been on finding disease and killing it, but rather on helping the body establish its own state of good health. Today, these people are known as TRADITIONAL NATUROPATHS.

While Traditional Naturopaths recognize that allopathic health care is, at times, necessary, they understand that many accepted allopathic treatments can be harmful. Allopathic philosophy holds that disease is caused by external agents, chiefly bacteria and viruses. According to this belief system, a cure will result when these offending agents are eliminated. In addition, allopathic belief also tends to look at the symptom and the disease as one in the same, so that when the symptom has been eliminated, it is presumed that the disease is "cured." The Traditional Naturopath, however, sees a symptom as nothing more than a signal that something is wrong. According to Naturopathic belief, when a symptom alone is eliminated, it is most likely being suppressed. Unless the original cause has also been eliminated, the symptom may return later in a chronic form.

In helping their clients, Traditional Naturopaths follow a number of basic principles. Among them are:

DO NO HARM. "Primum non nocere" is part of the Hippocratic oath. Traditional Naturopaths do not use harmful substances, such as drugs and pharmaceuticals, and do not rely on dangerous procedures, such as surgery.

RECOGNIZE THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE. Traditional Naturopaths understand that the body has an innate capacity for self-healing. They are equipped to educate their clients in setting up the proper external and internal environments so that healing can take place.

FIND AND ELIMINATE THE CAUSE. All "dis-ease" has some kind of cause. Self-healing can occur when that cause has been eliminated. Traditional Naturopaths help clients evaluate their lifestyles, identify the cause of their problems, and take corrective action.

TEACH HEALTH. Traditional Naturopaths teach their clients how to achieve and maintain good health. This empowers their clients and enables them to participate in the process of staying well.

HONOR THE TOTAL PERSON. A person is never simply a headache, or a backache, or a sore throat. Unless there has been an injury, seldom does any problem occur in isolation. Traditional Naturopaths understand that people are physical, mental, and spiritual beings, and that one "dis-ease" affects all areas of life.

PREVENT "DIS-EASE." In teaching their clients how to achieve a state of balance, Traditional Naturopaths are helping them remain healthy into the future.

A Traditional Naturopath avoids a number of procedures that are common to allopathic ("traditional") health care.Among them are:

DIAGNOSE DISEASE. In determining the root cause of a client's problems, Traditional Naturopaths perform evaluations and analyses, but they DO NOT diagnose disease.

TREAT DISEASE. In Traditional Naturopathy, the focus is on health and education, not on treating any specific disease. The Traditional Naturopath will teach clients how to create an internal and external environment that is conducive to good health.
PRESCRIBE DRUGS AND PHARMACEUTICALS. Instead of prescribing, Traditional Naturopaths educate their clients, who, in turn, make their own choices. A Naturopath may teach clients about the use of various herbs and homeopathic remedies, as well as about the healing properties inherent in other foods and nutritional supplements. However, since drugs may be toxic to the body, Traditional Naturopaths DO NOT believe in the use of drugs (unless in ABSOLUTE EMERGENCY, and prescribed by a physician).

PERFORM INVASIVE PROCEDURES. These include major and minor surgery, as well as giving injections and drawing blood, all of which are common in allopathic medicine. Some Traditional Naturopaths have training and qualification in other forms of the healing arts and may help their clients by using such hands-on modalities as kinesiology, acupressure, or reflexology. There are Traditional Naturopaths who are also chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, homeopaths, etc. In these cases, the Naturopath may blend Traditional Naturopathic modalities with those common to the other discipline, for example, performing spinal adjustments if the Naturopath is also a chiropractor.

Although the term "Doctor" is generally held to mean "Medical Doctor," the practice of the Traditional Naturopath may be more true to the old meaning of that word. The origin of the word "doctor" was the Latin "docere," which meant "to teach." A Traditional Naturopath does exactly that, teaching skills that will carry clients into a healthy, strong, and independent future.
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