When you have an itchy rash, you want it to go away — and fast!
It is annoying, unsightly, and the itching drives you up the wall! The itching even causes you to lose sleep!
So you go to the doctor, and they prescribe you a steroid cream. You put the steroid cream on your rash, and it disappears in a few days. Perfect!
… but it comes back…
Maybe your skin isn’t the problem, Maybe its heartburn. The heartburn goes away if you take your medication, but skip a pill or two and it’s right back, nagging in your throat. Your chronic back pain is manageable, if you take your medication, but skip a pill and life becomes difficult.
For many people, managing an ailment requires regularly taking medication. I take my “X” pill for “Y” and my “Y” goes away!
But does the lack of a symptom after taking a medication really mean that the symptom has gone away? That the underlying problem has gone away? Where did it go? When you stop taking the medication and the symptom returns, the problem has not actually been corrected. It ends up feeling like a game of “whack-a-mole” — when a symptom pops up, smash it down.
True healing requires a change, rather than a suppression of a symptom. Are you doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
A naturopath learns that disease is created when a toxin and/or a malnutrition present. The toxin or offense to the body could be one of many, including chemical (such as those found in food or personal care products), structural (such as a spinal misalignment), emotional (such as a belief that is no longer serving you) or environmental toxins (such as electromagnetic frequencies from your cell phone). The goal of the naturopath is to help you to identify the toxin or malnutrition creating your dis-ease, and rather than suppressing the symptoms, help you identify changes you need to heal (although natural remedies can help symptom management for quality of life while the underlying problem is supported).
The changes take many forms as the naturopath sees the body as a whole: the organs connected to a body system, the body systems connected to each other, the body connected to the emotions, the spirit and the mind. A person is not fragmented, but whole. When one part of the person is affected by an emotional pain, this does not just effect the emotions, but the body as well. A physical manifestation of an emotional dis-ease or an unhealthy mindset is often the root cause of many physical complaints. It is because of the connectedness of the body to the mind, the soul, the emotions, that naturopathy has so many different and effective paths to healing.
The path could be a diet or lifestyle change, a homeopathic remedy, herbal or other supplements, emotional release work, energy work, body work and more. A person seeking a natural path to healing can be inundated by so many different options and advice. A Google search yields a plethora of ways to treat one ailment. Friends and coworkers will have different opinions about what’s right, the thing that worked for them or Uncle Larry. Even amongst naturopaths, there are differing opinions on what will heal. The beautiful thing about naturopathy is that when working with an educated healer, they can help you determine which of these many valuable paths lead you to your Rome — your true healing.
Author: Rebecca deVries is a registered nurse and student at the Naturopathic Institute. She currently interns at Continuum Healing.
Photo source: Creative Commons