Naturopathy_Homeopathy_600_400Naturopathy is a ‘broad spectrum’ description of a science in which practitioners are more likely to prescribe multiple treatment approaches like supplements, herbs and dietary adjustments. Naturopathy is an umbrella term for many natural therapies, which include herbal medicine, massage, nutrition, iridology, and can include Homeopathy. Naturopathy’s origin is in ‘nature cures’, when fasting and a diet of raw, whole foods and hydrotherapy was practiced.

These are the basic principles on which Naturopathic medicine is based on:

The Healing Power of Nature:

medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.

Identify and Treat the Causes:

The Naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.

First Do No Harm:

Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:

  • Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
  • Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and
  • Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.

Doctor as Teacher:

Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.

Treat the Whole Person:

Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, Naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.

Prevention:

Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.

So when you visit a Naturopath your treatment is likely to include dietary advice, vitamins and minerals and herbal medicines. Naturopaths are often considered to be the ‘General Practitioners’ of natural therapies. When Naturopaths include Homeopathic medicines in their treatment, it is often for acute symptoms, as one part of the whole treatment process.

The philosophy of Naturopathy is based on providing an environment which supports recovery from illness.Herbs are preparations made from plants, called tinctures or fluid extracts, are usually dark in colour and have a strong and sometimes bitter taste.

Homeopathy:

Homeopathy (Homeopathic medicine) is a system of medicine founded in the early 19th century by a German physician, Dr. Samuel Christian Hahnemann (1775-1843). Classical Homeopathy rests on three principles:

The law of Similars:

states that a disease is cured by a medicine that creates symptoms similar to those the patient is experiencing. Hence, an important part of the prescription of a Homeopathic medicine is a lengthy interview to determine all the symptoms. The Homeopathic physician then prescribes the medicine that best matches the symptoms.

The principle of the single remedy:

states that a single medicine should cover all the symptoms the patient is experiencing: mental, emotional and physical.

The principle of the minimum dose:

has two parts. First, the Homeopathic physician prescribes only a small number of doses of the Homeopathic medicine and waits to see what effect the medicine has. Second, the medicine is given in an infinitesimal dose.

The unique characteristic of Homeopathy is the specific selection of a medicine to correspond with the patient’s symptoms according to specialized Homeopathic case taking. Case taking is the crux of a Homeopathic prescription. During the case taking a Homeopath considers the life style of the patient, his eating habits, sleeping patterns as well as emotional and mental health of the patients. Case taking is an attempt by a Homeopath to know the person as well as he/she can so as to develop a personality picture. These pictures then are matched to the 3000 over remedies to find a remedy that matches the closest to your particular symptoms.

Prescriptions are highly individualized

– several patients with headaches may all receive different medicines to treat their headache, based on the headache symptoms. These symptoms are things like the type of pain – sharp or dull, the time of day the pain is present, things that make the headache worse, (heat, movement,) and things that make the headache better (walking in the fresh air, cold compress).

The philosophy of Homeopathy is to find a medicine based on the law of Similars, or ‘what a substance can cause, it can cure’

Homeopathic medicines come in the form of drops or small white pills, which have a slightly sweet taste. The medicines have been diluted and potentized from the source material, which means they are non-toxic and have no color. Homeopathic medicines are often thought to be ‘herbs’.

Homeopathic and herbal medicines are quite different, even though the origin of some Homeopathic medicines is herbs. The two differ considerably in their prescribing methods and medicine preparation. Homeopathy uses highly diluted medicines, where western and Chinese herbal medicines are made directly from plant substances. Homeopathy offers a specific treatment for each patient’s illness, whereas Naturopathy provides the supportive framework for recovery.