Naturopathic Nutritional Therapy
The most fundamental underlying principle of alternative medicine is that of promoting and supporting the body’s inherent ability to heal itself, to heal from within. That is what Naturopathy seeks to do. It seeks to clear away the obstacles to the body’s ways of self-healing. It also seeks to support and strengthen the forces within the body that are responsible for that healing.
Most people are able to acknowledge the substantial role that nutrition plays in maintaining our health and know how health is undermined by malnutrition however, the bare facts about nutritional adequacy make up only the tip of a giant iceberg of knowledge that links nutrition with freedom from illness, recovery from illness and attaining a zestful vitality.
Naturopathic nutritional therapy is an immensely powerful tool. It is consistent with and works well alongside modern biochemistry, which studies in detail the metabolism inside the cells. It looks at all the ways in which the nutrients interact with and support metabolic processes. Modern biochemistry makes it clear that the nutrients are all required together, not just as individual items. It addresses the balances between them and their actual availability inside the cells. It addresses the enzyme reactions that they support.
The joy of it all is that all this biochemical evidence is supportive of the working principles of the Naturopaths of the last few centuries, who have worked to support “The Life Force”. What is this “Life Force”? Insofar as it is a subtle force, as yet undetected by science, it attracts the derision of the sceptics. But one can choose whether or not to regard this as a subtle force. If that does not fall within your belief system, then you can simply look at the energetic flux of chemical change within the cells and equate that with the Life Force.
The fact is that the healthy cell is characterized by an ebullient metabolism, a dynamic system of energetic processes fuelled by ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the “energy currency of the cell). The cell’s ability to manufacture and utilize ATP is determined by the integrity of its enzyme systems and its intracellular structures.
The whole strategy of naturopathic nutritional therapy is aimed at normalizing and activating the cells’ own internal systems. If the cells, and therefore the body, are ailing and sluggish, it aims to return the cellular metabolism to normal, and so restore vitality and health.
The Naturopathic diagnosis permits insight into a patient’s medical history, enabling it to be interpreted in naturopathic terms, thus illuminating how and why the patient comes to be in the medical condition he or she is in today. The nutritional therapist or naturopath can perceive the body’s energy being “suppressed” by toxicity and other negative influences, and being activated by positive influences. That understanding then informs and guides the subsequent treatment.
Even better, as naturopathic treatment is applied, the practitioner can see just how that treatment interacts with the patient’s condition. We do not expect progress to be immediate or to be entirely forecastable. We know that each person has his or her own naturopathic make-up that determines his or her responses. It is insight into those responses that make naturopathy into an art as well as a science-based treatment form. We use our skills and our hard-won insights to creatively guide the patient towards better health. We can recognize that not all treatment outcomes will be immediately and obviously favourable and that some may be uncomfortable, but that in the end they will lead towards less toxicity, less toxic damage, more healing and higher energies.
To those who might aspire to becoming a Practitioner of Nutritional Therapy, we would like to offer real encouragement. It can lead to a career with the highest job-satisfaction. You will be able to offer a very individualized and effective treatment strategy that challenges the rigid approach of a non-naturopathic nutritionist. Without the Naturopathic insights, the subject is comparatively dead and uninspiring. With them, it is an exciting dynamic discipline.