Naturopathy takes its place along with Allopathy and Homoeopathy as one of the main Western systems of medicine.
Allopathy is well understood in modern times as a treatment system reliant upon drugs and surgery as well as more specialized spheres. It is based upon suppression of the symptoms of disease and has a huge store of knowledge re the specified known diseases of mankind. The most famous of its accomplishments would seem to be through miraculous surgical skills that repair bodies damaged through accidents and in correction of some deformities. It offers no fundamental educational health programme regarding prevention of disease.
Homeopathy has been used from earlier centuries as a treatment system that requires an intense focus upon the individual and the detailed attention to the symptoms and an observation as to the effects exerted by the weather, the seasons and the integral personality type of the patient. It involves considerable study and application to prescribe medicines for complex symptoms and great wisdom and experience. The system of remedies is drawn from a large range of sources from the natural kingdoms and is based upon the principle of like curing like – that is, administering a remedy that is most closely allied to the disease – a subtle medicine that is broken down to infinitesimal amount through a traditional process. It has many similarities to the ancient traditional Indian system of Ayurveda.
Naturopathy is based upon attention to the natural laws that when followed, create good health and is therefore dependent to a large extent upon the self discipline of the patient. It is a Preventative system and a reminder of the fundamental natural laws. The remedies cover a wide range in modern usage but must conform to the preference and avoidance of chemical drugs and surgery. The most popular remedies are those foods and herbs and natural oils and extracts that can be self administered in the course of home life.
The fundamental physical healing aids such as adjustment of posture, therapeutic massage where limitations in self help are obvious, are valuable and given in professional therapy, along with dietary advice and suggested herbal supplementation. The philosophy over-riding all of naturopathy and those who practise as naturopaths is that of prime regard for Nature as the revered maker and Director of the mysterious healing processes that are, when unobstructed by unnatural pollutants are programmed to maintain physical well being. If seeking professional assistance, it should be remembered that simple advice that derives from experience is most valued in helping a person to build and retain their natural state of health – surely the best health insurance system that exists.
In Western countries we are free to choose our system of medicine that offers us relief from any ailment. For quick relief from minor irritations and problems it seems rewarding to some to turn to the doctor who prescribes a drug that offers speedy relief.
But for major body function and the health of vital organs, if we wish to avoid instant surgical ‘correction’ that cuts away that offending part of the body we must be prepared to take the usually slower route; Nature seeks to adjust and heal through our conscious co-operation by providing the encouragement of specific foods, herbs and exercises as required.
There remains a place for any system of medicine that can offer a true cure and where the doctor or therapist who represents that system is committed to the one motivation and cause – to help the patient to a better state of health.
This is a vital issue as Mental Health is likely to flourish when the body well being is assured.