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Elaine Stavert
Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist, Associate Naturopath
NT.Dip, Cert.BBM, AMNNA, RAAHT, MFNTPT, AMSoN

Kinesiology TFH - Reiki Master - Cordon Bleu Cook - Author - Buteyko Breathing Instructor

What is Naturopathy?

Naturopathy is the creation of conditions that enable the body to heal itself as far as it is capable of doing – Roger Newman Turner

The term ‘Naturopath’ means ‘physician’ used by Hippocrates from the word ‘physikos’ meaning ‘nature’. Using nature to cure, Nature Cure.  Every practitioner of naturopathic medicine should be skilled in understanding man’s very close relationship to nature.

Naturopathy is an amalgamation of many disciplines and although every naturopath will have the same underlying philosophy, each will work differently to the next.  It is generally recognised however that a Naturopath will have training in Eastern Medicine disciplines, homeopathy, herbalism, nutritional therapy or knowledge of nutrition, psychosocial skills, naturopathic principles and techniques, hydrotherapy, and most will use iridology.  A form of body work is also generally required such as Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Massage or Kinesiology.  I am qualified as a Nutritional Therapist, Touch for Health Kinesiology, Buteyko Breathing Instructor, with certificates in Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Tibetan Medicine, Unani Medicine, Homeopathy, Naturopathy. I am an Associate Naturopath and registered with the Society of Naturopaths.

Naturopaths recognise that individuals have a unique interaction with nutrients based on their genetic predispositions or temperament, their stage in life, their environment, climate, and season.  Naturopaths are trained to recognise the uniqueness of a person and their very individual predispositions to disease.  Therefore, there cannot be “one” diet, herb, supplement, therapy, that suits all as we are all have totally unique requirements. The word ‘doctor’ means teacher, and educating the client is an important part of a naturopathic consultation. Naturopathy strives to teach a client how they can best live their lives alongside their predispositions, history, constitution, and environment.

Naturopaths have a holistic or wholistic approach addressing the body, mind, and spirit as a whole, understanding that given the right circumstances, the body has an innate ability and wisdom to be able to heal itself, unless the life force has been weakened to such an extent that only maintenance of a health issue is achievable.

Detailed Case History Taking

A naturopathic consultation involves taking a very detailed case history to understand a person’s progression of disease, their root causes, and how they have arrived at their current disease picture.  Naturopathy looks at family history going back two generations, what we have come into the world with, our predispositions, or health “mortgage” if you like - and then how life events, toxins, infections, diet, environment, stress, traumas, accidents, operations, dental procedures, medications, other suppressive events, and lifestyle have added layers on top of our genetic predispositions to create dis-ease, stagnation, inflammation, degeneration, lack of vitality.

Inherited tendencies can be passed down each generation and if not corrected or balanced, they can be triggered earlier with each generation.  Nutritional deficiencies can also be passed down each generation. So, a health issue or symptom of dis-ease that occurred in a grandparent at age 70, if not balanced, could occur in the parents aged 40-50, and then in the client in their teens or 20s.

Naturopathy helps you to understand your own story.

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The case history gives an indication of the vitality of the person, and can highlight weaker areas, or areas that need nurturing, and which roots of elimination may therefore be needed.  It provides insight into mineral balance at a cellular level and a person’s ability to detoxify and at to what phase of disease or degeneration a person may be currently in.  The case history gives an understanding of genetic predispositions and how epigenetics (diet, beliefs, emotions, lifestyle, toxic load, and environment) can impact or trigger genetic predispositions, Miasms, Temperaments, Doshas, or Humours, which are very important when preparing a client programme.


A Naturopath will discuss the main issues that the client wishes to address, and make observations of the client’s skin, hair, nails and tongue, eyes.  If required, I commonly recommend hair tissue mineral analysis, and only very occasionally pathology tests such as blood tests or stool analysis may be recommended to gain further information.
 

Naturopathy understands the vital force of a person and will do the least possible to trigger the innate healing within a person to begin bringing a person more toward balance / homeostasis at a pace that is right for them, and this can take time, possibly years depending on the progression and depth of a person's dis-ease. 

Naturopathy therefore does not provide a “miracle cure, or a “quick fix”, it teaches a person how to be responsible for their own health by understanding their own story.  Knowledge is very empowering.  This means that it is an ongoing lifestyle practice, which may help prevent disease from happening in the future, and may halt or slow the progression of dis-ease, depending on the level of depth of dis-ease, and the willingness or ability to make positive changes in one’s life.
 

A Naturopathic approach is the opposite to allopathic drugs, or even large amounts of supplements, which are suppressive, and can lead to further stagnation and depth of dis-ease.  Less can often be more effective and one must always first “do no harm”.
 

No other discipline looks at heath and disease with such depth and understanding.

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Much Naturopathy these days is no longer “true” Naturopathy, as many are now moving toward a more allopathic Functional Medicine approach using many scientific laboratory tests and focussing in on the “mosquitos around the pond” – Pasteur’s germ theory, as opposed to the “clear water of the pond” the terrain, the soil, instead – Bechamp’s terrain theory.  Many modern “Naturopaths” focus on using supplements for a specific symptom, with protocols, which is allopathic and the opposite of Naturopathy which focusses on the health of the terrain which in modern terms is the extra cellular matrix (ECM). 

 

The ECM is found throughout the body in all of the extracellular space and consists of glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans, collagens and elastin in water solution of inorganic salts, nutrients, and waste products known as interstitial fluid. Its many functions include acting like a ‘sieve’ between the capillary system, lymph vessels and cells; transporting substances to the cells such as messages (hormones, neurotransmitters) and nutrients; taking toxicity away from the cells, like a refuse collection, and forming electromagnetic fields that can activate cells and nerves. It also binds water in structural liquid crystalline forms which create a rapid system for the transmission of information and holds the capacity to exchange ions, electrolytes and osmotic pressure in the tissues.  A part of naturopathy that some practice, Homotoxicology, focuses primarily on the toxicity, drainage and elimination of the toxins within the ECM as all inflammation happens in the ECM.

Naturopathy focusses on hydration as a priority, elimination pathways, gut and liver support, adverse childhood events, stressors and traumas and enhancing the terrain of the body first.  The health of the terrain is everything.
 

The hierarchy of organs is important in Naturopathy (Hering’s Law of Cure) – how dis-ease heals from the top downwards, from the more important organs to the lesser organs, from inside to outside and in the order in which symptoms appeared.  One can then understand by symptoms whether healing is going in the right direction, or whether it is deepening e.g., a mental problem disappears, but a rash appearing on the body can be a sign of healing in the right direction, so this can be explained to the client.
 

If the cellular electrolytes are imbalanced (high calcium in the cell) or the cell membrane is not healthy from dehydration or lack of healthy fats, supplements can be futile as they cannot enter the cell.  First you need to address, hydration, mineral balance, the health of the cell and the ‘terrain’ / extracellular matrix of the body.

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In Naturopathy we always support the gut and the liver as a priority. Because the liver is the filter of the digestive system, the digestive function is always the first thing we address with any condition, no matter what the name of it is. Naturopathy doesn't look at named diseases, only what symptoms there are, where they are on the body, when they started, and what they are likely telling us is the root cause, and the depth phase of the dis-ease.
 

"The liver is the "junction box" from which nearly all symptoms of illness - physical or emotional, sometimes mental, must originate. Signs and symptoms of chronic disease can only disappear after liver function has been fully restored"  Dr Jonn Matsen

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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” - Hippocrates