Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Last night I went to a talk given by a woman who was one of my lecturers during my Naturopathy degree. I hadn't heard this woman speak for many years, and it was a wonderful experience to sit and listen to her wise words again. She trained as a naturopath in the 'old' days, over 30 years ago. Back then Naturopathy hadn't been complicated by the need to be evidenced based and scientifically valid, which is now the case. Most courses now only teach evidence based treatments. It is considered progressive and more desirable to make naturopathy more scientifically accountable. Prior to the last 10 -15 years, there was a strong emphasis on teaching students naturopathic philosophy. Naturopathic philosophy hasn't changed for the last couple of hundred years, but is at risk of being forgotten, or over-shadowed, by evidence based treatments, and dare I say it, a need or desire to sell lots of products or supplements.
If naturopaths are focused on prescribing products to their patients, they may not be focused on understanding their patient, and viewing their disease or condition through a naturopathic paradigm. In this instance there is little to distinguish a naturopath from a medical practitioner. The only difference will be in the prescription - drugs versus herbal and nutritional supplements.
A naturopath that remains true to naturopathic philosophy will not sell you a product to treat each symptom that you present with. Naturopathy has so much more to offer. A good naturopath will investigate how the condition or illness you present with is being experienced in your body. The basis of naturopathic philosophy is that the body is self healing. Therefore, what processes have occurred or not occurred to allow this condition to take hold in your body? How do you operate energetically, metabolically, and emotionally? It is the job of the naturopath to determine how healing has failed for their patient, and what processes are not functioning well to allow the disease process to take hold.
This is the strength of naturopathy. We are able to do this through having a longer consultation time with people, and asking many questions, and also through using Iridology. Sometimes a thorough case history may provide all the information, and sometimes Iridology can be used to understand a person and what is happening in their body more deeply.
Knowledge of scientific research and evidence based treatments is necessary, but allowing naturopathic philosophy to determine a patient's treatment protocol is essential to provide good naturopathic care.