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TRAINING SUCCESSFUL PRACTITIONERS

Naturopathy: A Natural Way of Healing

Naturopathy

An ancient system of medicine that treats the whole body

Naturopathy has one major claim to fame. There aren’t many branches of medicine that can point to a history of over two and a half millennia. The story of natural medicine can trace its origins back to Hippocrates who believed that a person’s health was not simply a set of symptoms but a product of personality, wellbeing, environment and way of life.  Naturopathy uses a range of methods to guide someone back to health. The naturopathic stance is that if you can reconnect the human being to the elemental life forces provided in abundance by the planet then the body will organically heal itself.

Like any organism or machine, it is only when the working parts are all fully functioning that they are able to absorb and process nutrients efficiently. The pallet of natural therapies dates back to 400BC and includes the Chinese traditional medicine technique of Acupuncture, and Herbal Medicine. Prevention, education, helping the whole person, identifying causes rather than symptoms, and harnessing the healing power of nature are interlocking elements of this. Understanding and planning detoxification and cleansing of our internal system are essential to the smooth functioning of the human machine. Anticipating issues before they arise with healthy food and fluid intake is crucial, but so is an understanding of the 360-degree factors that may also be impacting on our health and wellbeing.

Naturopathy, Iridology
Naturopathy, acupuncture

The path to a remedy

Sometimes the search for a remedy in an individual’s search for health has led them up blind alleys and a visit to a Naturopath may be a final act of hope when all else has failed. The Naturopath will look at a complete range of giveaway signals, externally visible that will enable a diagnosis in a much wider, more holistic manner.

A Naturopath will always work with their client, meeting them at a level the client is comfortable with, and supporting and educating their client into a lifestyle that will help them maintain optimum health. For some people, this can be as simple as improving their sleep whilst for others multiple adjustments need to be made. Overall, depending on the state and presentation of a person, a Naturopath will always work towards long term, positive health change that empowers and educates their client.  The outcome should be that the client is aware of the lifestyle decisions that make them feel healthy and full of energy, and be able to avoid those reduce their immunity and generate lethargy.

An initial consultation will usually follow a structured format in which the aim is to get as much information about a client’s health as possible, and create the rapport needed for a successful protocol to occur.

The Consultation

Presenting complaints

Initially the client is asked what initiated the visit. The most common presentations in a consultation are symptoms or sensations that are worrying the client. More often than not they have seen multiple practitioners without success.

Assessment

During an assessment the client will be asked about important habits such as sleeping, eating and working habits, their emotional state and history, and whether or not they have noticed changes and fluctuations in energy or symptoms. This information will help the Naturopath identify areas of lifestyle to work with.

Naturopathy

Personal history

A medical, family and emotional history is taken to give the Naturopath an overall picture of the person, reveal health patterns and help the Naturopath understand any genetic traits that should be considered in the protocol they create for their client.

Referrals

If there are any red flags, a well-trained Naturopath will recommend or refer the client to a professional that is qualified to address the concern.

Testing

Laboratory testing may be used to identify, confirm or track the presence of parasites, viruses, bacteria or hormonal disruption.

Treatment goals and plan

A  Naturopath will formulate a treatment plan that is personalized to the needs and receptivity of the client.

The treatment itself

Depending on the person, treatment can take days, months and in complex or severe cases – years. Bringing a person back to a state of health is about continuously adjusting lifestyle and treatment until that person is free from the underlying processes that brought them to poor health and the clinic.

To help the process along, a naturopath may also offer herbs, supplements, flower essences and homeopathic remedies alongside lifestyle advice to produce guided, long term change and empowerment to their client. Food groups may be temporarily or permanently added to or removed from the diet.

Naturopathy, Iridology

Naturopathic techniques of testing

A Naturopath will always endeavor to be as natural and non-invasive as possible. The following Naturopathic techniques of testing are the most common, although a Naturopath may use many or no tests to diagnose their client.

Eyes and Iridology

The eyes can show signs and symptoms of deficiency (as with anemia), as well as signs of excess such as high cholesterol. The dilation and constriction of a pupil in response to light can reveal adrenal and mental health. For Naturopaths who are also trained in iridology, reading the iris in the eye can also can indicate a client’s constitutional state including their propensity to allergies, intolerances and other innate traits that affect health.

Tongue analysis

To a trained naturopath, the tongue will present a map of the internal functioning of a person, particularly how well they are absorbing food and water. The form, shape, colour and texture of a tongue will reflect imbalances in digestive and other systems.  

Pulse

A pulse that is rapid, quick, slow, deep or shallow – or strong or weak against pressure will give health signs and symptoms to a well-trained Naturopath.

Posture and gait

Many degenerative diseases and heavy metal toxicities will show up in gait and posture, which a Naturopath will be able to spot.

Skin and nails

The texture, tone and temperature of the skin and nails can provide indications of a client’s nutrient status, hydration, digestive capacity, respiratory efficiency and hormonal balance.

Body fat distribution

A Naturopath may assess your body fat distribution to get an idea of metabolism, stress levels, and hormonal balance. Body fat is distributed according to different internal processes. For example, fat distribution from stress is different to fat distribution from estrogen dominance.

Constitution

Everyone is born with a different constitution and that constitution will respond different to different environments, foods, herbs, and supplements. A naturopath is trained to assess a person’s constitution in order to be able to identify lifestyle factors that are capable of  triggering disharmony or, equally, restoring balance.

Reflexes

A naturopath may use reflex and muscle tests to confirm their suspicions. Many disease states such as hyper or hypo thyroid show up in changes in specific reflexes.

Training as a Naturopath

If you are interested in training as a Naturopath it is best to review all of your learning options, visit the websites of the education providers and even go and spend time at the colleges concerned. Do make sure that the course provider is accredited and a formal qualification is available at the end of the course of study.

All of CNM Diploma Courses are accredited.  These include Naturopathic Nutrition, which provides an in-depth understanding of the therapeutic powers of food; along with Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture and Homeopathy, whose graduates also qualify as Naturopaths.  CNM graduates, whatever their specialism, all gain a broad understanding of other natural therapies which will help their clients.  First Aid Homeopathy, Chinese Diagnostics, Bach Flowers, Tissue Salts, and Iridology all form part of their advanced tool kit.  Enhanced knowledge and additional diagnostic skills help graduates improve health outcomes for their clients. 

(CNM) College of Naturopathic Medicine is a full member of The Association of Natural Practitioners (ANP) and is one of the UK’s largest, most respected, naturopathic training providers.

Do register here if you would like to find out more.

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