On Healing the Naturopathic Way

We can learn the wisdom of healing simply by observing the life cycle of a plant. Just as each plant has its life journey, so do we humans.

Although each plant carries within itself a complete potential for growth and self-care (its DNA being the blueprint), its existence does not solely depend on itself; in fact, many factors contribute to the plant’s health: the quality of the soil, the climate that it lives in, the amount of sunlight, inter-species relationships and other nurturing factors found in Nature. Yet we all know that’s not where the picture ends. Health & dis-ease are multifactorial and intertwining processes. Plants have to constantly fend themselves from various life stressors, such as pests, climate change, soil erosion, air/water pollution, and so on. In short, whether or not a plant merely survives or actually thrives depends on its adaptive mechanism. This is the real meaning of VITALITY. Any living is considered vitally healthy if it can respond appropriately to whatever stressor(s) it encounters. We as human beings can make similar connections with our own individual state of health (or disease). The true starting point in our journey towards real health thus comes from asking ourselves the following: are we maladapted to our disease (hence the perpetual strive to merely survive our health predicament) or are we adapted to wellness (which allow us to instead thrive in our environment in fulfilling our individual greater purpose in life)?

Being successful in achieving and maintaining our health hinges not necessarily on what we do specifically (be it nutrition, herbs, or other therapeutic modalities). Rather, it relies on how accurately we assess our present health situation and the number of dots we connect in terms of why we experience what we experience and why we suffer what we suffer. One can consume all the Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort) in the world to treat one’s depression, but unless one’s very own obstacles to cure are revealed, and then appropriately resolved, real healing fails to occur and only palliation exists in its place. This palliation is sometimes appropriate, i.e. when the physician/doctor and patient are buying a little time in planning the long-term strategy to really address the situation. Yet if mere symptom eradication occurs continually without the proper long-term healing strategy in place, the palliation sooner or later turns into suppression, which now serves as yet another source of stress in the body and predictably leads to even more complex disease picture, not to mention further deterioration of our mind & body.

In treating our patients, Naturopathic Doctors see symptoms as very helpful cues that often point towards some form of imbalance in an otherwise VITAL system we call our BODY. This imbalance can stem from nutritional deficiency/overloading, genetic susceptibility, inappropriate/prolonged medication regimen, environmental toxicity, psychosocial factors, spiritual dysfunction, and so on. This is why there is no single treatment for any single disease; ten migraine cases are likely addressed in ten different ways, as we treat individuals. We NDs do what we do exceptionally well because we treat solely based on the healing principles found in Nature, always starting with the safest natural means possible. But our most valuable gift to our patients is in instilling real knowledge and tools in practicing self-care to allow them to safely navigate their own unique journey towards lifelong health & vitality.

Those of us adapted to health & wellness, see the world around in clear lenses, and find the many aspects of our lives fulfilling, that our sleep is refreshing, our foods nourishing, our mind calm and steady, and our daily activities imbued with joy & purpose. Yet many of us who are still adapted to illness view our surroundings as if through some tainted lenses that serve to only distort our perception of what life truly entails. Through Naturopathic Medicine, you can get back to feeling like yourself again and seeing your own life with real clarity and meaning. This is achieved by assisting, instead of resisting, depriving or suppressing your own self-healing process, as evident in all living things in Nature.