The word ‘natural’ appears to be plastered relentlessly everywhere we look – labelled on products as a marketing tactic and referenced consistently for the sake of honouring a ‘trend’… but do we really understand what it means?
From a naturopathic perspective, a natural approach to health is one that simply supports the body’s innate ability to heal itself – the first principal of which is to do no harm. This means that natural health essentially avoids any method which may cause damaging implications to the body – such as those seen in instances of medication side-effects and long-term physiological or psychological repercussions.
A natural approach to health adopts an understanding of the ways in which our bodies have everything they need to restore themselves. The foundation is already there and from a natural standpoint, we are simply providing a framework to rebalance and nurture. This understanding comes down to how we look at health and what we see to be disease. If we deconstruct the word itself, we see that dis-ease is simply a state in which a disruption has occurred. The gap that exists between “mainstream” and “alternative” medical systems is in how we approach this disruption. This is true for both physical and mental health treatment. A disruption in the body (or mind) is not something to be ostracised – it is simply a message that a part of us is no longer in harmony. A significant component of changing our approach to health and disease begins with the individual – if the individual has the awareness and the tools to tune into themselves, they will learn to listen. They will learn to communicate with their bodies and understand the messages it sends. The more we ignore our body, the louder it will become.
A crucial component of this transformation involves learning to love the body. Loving the body is not just about liking what we see. In fact, it has nothing to do with how we rationalise what we are looking at when standing in front of a mirror. Loving our bodies is about feeling grateful for every little, invisible, hugely significant and immensely intelligent process that they carry out every moment of our lives. Right down to a cellular level, our bodies continuously know exactly what to do to keep us alive. This is a truly beautiful reality and something that if we all genuinely understood on a more technical level, would change our perspective on health forever. It would make perfect sense to us to nourish our bodies – and to thank them every day for the fantastic work that they perform. It would enable us to notice every sensation, to be open and curious about what we experience; to embrace all of our functionality and not reject the parts that are less “appealing”. How do you talk to your body? What does it respond with in return?
It is through loving our bodies and learning to listen to them that we develop a greater connection to the physical world. Just in the same way that we must honour the earth that provides us with everything we need by respecting and caring for her. Natural health builds that bridge. Everything originates from nature – most pharmacological products are derived from chemical metabolites found in plants. Their molecules have simply been synthetically replicated to achieve desired results and those capabilities have then been over-used in ways for which they are not naturally designed. Pharmaceutical medicine holds an essential position in healthcare, but its power has been abused. The over-prescribing of medications and the lack of awareness that general practitioners have of holistic health is where our clinical systems are failing us. There are situations in which we need pharmaceutical medication – it undeniably saves lives and has changed how we live our lives in an incredible way. The technology that has been developed since the 20th century has enabled us, in the western world particularly, to experience a much greater quality of life. However, these powers that have been created have been taken advantage of and the balance has been well overthrown.
Everything we need can be found in the food that we eat, and similarly the food that we eat can be exactly the thing that leads us to our premature demise if we consume unconsciously. The food that we have access to now is more toxic than ever – contaminated with synthetic material, genetic modification, chemical residue and excessive amounts of sugar. This is why we need the shift to holistic health to happen now if we are to restore the epidemic that is man-made avoidable morbid disease. This restoration begins with education and a severe shift in mindset – encouraging individuals to view health and being “well” as an empowering, attainable priority; as well as birthright. Practitioners have a profound responsibility in providing care for their patients – and it is their approach to that care that will change the world as we know it. When we see a patient we must see their whole person – what is the patient’s level of understanding of their own health and what sort of information do they actually have access to? What are their personal beliefs about health? What is happening in the body? If there are several issues, how do they relate and connect? What is happening in the mind? Is the body storing unexpressed emotion and how is this impacting the person on a physical level? Are there energetic imbalances? There almost always are…
Our bodies will always be communicating with us, and it is our responsibility to honour their messages. We have the power to discern what is natural; what is supportive for our health & wellbeing and what is not. We also have the right to question what we are told if it doesn’t support every aspect of our wellness, and there will always be someone who is willing to offer a second, more supportive opinion. Disease is not shameful and it does not need to be attacked. It needs to be nurtured and explored… to be given an opportunity to be understood. It simply needs to be brought back into balance – and may we as a collective learn to love our bodies, trust our bodies and integrate our whole beings into our approach to our wellness. May we take our power back and honour what it really is to be naturally well.
Disclaimer – the contents of this post is based on the opinion and personal beliefs of the author. If anything doesn’t resonate with your own personal beliefs, understandings or experiences; simply disregard it with the knowing that we are each entitled to our own values and we each have our own unique approaches to perceiving and living our lives. These publications do not aim to persuade, condescend or denigrate the beliefs of any of their valued readers, rather they are designed to inspire and shed light on ideas for the purpose of deeper connection. What is true for one person may be completely untrue for someone else and that is okay; that is what makes us human. We each have the power to design our own truth and interpretation. May these posts be received with love – just as they are written.
The contents of this post does not constitute professional advice and it is the responsibility of the reader as to how this information is both interpreted and used. The purpose of this publication is to entertain, and the contents should not be regarded as any form of professional advice or education. Always consult a professional if you have any personal concerns.