Article Contributed by Robert S. Harris, N.D., P.M.D., TFTdx
Naturopathic doctor/wellness consultant
WHAT IS A TRADITIONAL NATUROPATH?
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.
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.
Basic Principles of Traditional Naturopathy
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.
About Dr. Harris
Robert S. Harris, N.D., P.M.D., TFTdx, is a naturopathic, nutrition, and wellness practitioner and educator with over fifteen years experience in teaching and counseling individuals and groups in matters of holistic health and wellness. He maintains a private counseling practice based in Frankfort, New York, and helps to improve the health and wellness of individuals nationwide. His training includes:
* Diagnosis in Thought Field Therapy, with Roger Callahan, Ph.D.
* Touch for Health Kinesiology, with Margaret Hewes, R.N.
* Naturopathic Health Sciences, with Chester P. Yozwick, N.D., Ph.D.