Why Naturopathy is key to a healthy life
Why Naturopathy is key to a healthy life
Last week I ran my first lady’s luxury naturopathic nutrition retreat day which was a huge success. The theme for the day was how to live your best life in your 40s and beyond, using the tools and techniques I have incorporated into my lifestyle. This is based on all the teachings from my initial studies to the continuous learning and development over the past fifteen years.
And a big part of my life is living naturopathically.
What is naturopathy?
Naturopathy, as a therapeutic approach, has four main principles that underpin it:
- It seeks to facilitate and promote the body’s inherent self-healing abilities;
- It recognises the uniqueness of each individual;
- It always attempts to establish and tackle the ROOT CAUSE of a condition, not merely the end result i.e. current symptoms;
- It considers not just the local area or organ that seems to be affected, but the whole person.
Naturopaths believe that the symptoms of ill health are the body’s way of trying to heal itself. If you try to suppress these symptoms, you hamper the body’s healing action. It’s like putting a sticking plaster over the symptom. It may appear to have gone away, but the underlying problem is still there, and it will usually find another way to the surface.
In today’s society there is almost an acceptance that feeling generally unwell and sluggish is normal: you may not be seriously ill but neither are you feeling really well. Common signs of this are low energy, a general lack of vitality, aches and pains, headaches, a low mood. Too many people put up with these symptoms as part and parcel of everyday life.
A startling reminder of this can be seen in this Daily mail article, with prescribed common painkillers costing the NHS £111M in 2021:
Total sales of over the counter (OTC) painkillers in 2021 were nearly £700M!
Naturopaths believe that health is not merely an absence of symptoms, but also the feeling of fulfilment and vitality. So how do we achieve this?
By stimulating the body’s inherent healing abilities to bring the body back into balance. This can be thought of as the body’s “vital force”; chi in Chinese medicine, prana in India/Ayurvedic medicine.
The three key aspects that must be addressed for overall good health
There are three arms to good health – think of this as a 3 legged stool. Each arm must be in balance, otherwise the stool will topple over. If one of the arms is struggling, the stool will start to wobble- it’s the first sign of an imbalance to be addressed.
So what are these “arms” – or 3 legs to the stool?
The first is Chemical which includes nutrition, detoxification and elimination.
The body requires certain nutrients (vitamins, minerals and plant compounds known as phytonutrients) to enable body processes to take place. Many nutrients act as “co-factors”, as anti-oxidants or as anti-inflammatory agents.
These nutrients work in synergy with others: B vitamins work together; magnesium and calcium enable muscles to contract and relax and keep bones in good health; antioxidants work together (like vitamins E, C and minerals zinc and selenium).
Detoxification of toxins and waste require an efficient liver and trying to minimise the body’s exposure to excess chemicals (in the foods, in skin care and in the air around us) as this requires greater nutritional needs and energy to manage.
Good eliminatory channels (bowels, kidney, skin and lungs) help to eliminate the waste products efficiently from the body and help to stop toxins recirculating through the body. It’s why I always start with digestive /gut health with all my clients.
The second is Mechanical which is the assessment of muscular tension, stiff joints, poor posture and potential spinal misalignments.
These can result in impingement or enhancement of nerve impulses to organs. Neither is ideal.
Seeing a bodywork specialist like an osteopath (which I do) as a regular treatment is a sensible precaution to help keep the body in alignment.
The third is spiritual/emotional/psychological.
We know all too well the impact of stress on our ability to sleep, think clearly or digest our food. This is just the starting point for more chronic symptoms if left unchecked. Stress has many causes and may be internalised which is not helpful, or we may try to battle on through without giving it due care and attention. We should recognise the stress and seek ways to help manage it with “de-stress” techniques as part of daily self-care. Seeking help from a practitioner who offers emotional support, or practising yoga or thai chi are all ways to honour and value yourself.
I practice yoga, meditation, deep breathing, EFT and journaling regularly and especially if my life is very busy, and I can sense a feeling of overwhelm.
The next time you are conscious of niggles or signs and symptoms that your body is out of balance, do look at your own “3 legged stool” and ask yourself which part is out of balance? You can then start to incorporate ways to stop your stool wobbling.
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Again, thanks for reading.
Keep your eye out for more articles and Peyton Principles in the media.
A little more about me…
Providing expert, personalised, health advice utilising 10 years of nutritional therapy and naturopathy experience with a strong emphasis on digestion and gut health. Zoom or face to face Consultations.
I also develop and deliver well-being in the workplace workshops.
Helping people live happier, healthier more active lives.
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