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Naturopathy: What it is and whom it helps

Naturopathy: What it is and whom it helps

What’s the main objective of naturopathy?

Naturopathy boasts an impressive variety of effective measures and therapies. As different as they may be, their goal is always the same: to activate and strengthen the body’s self-healing powers.

While conventional pharmaceuticals suppress symptoms and often cause new ones, the goal of naturopathy is completely different. Naturopathic therapies activate the body’s own self-healing powers to bring about real healing and restore healthy balance. 

Ideas and values ​​of naturopathy

The self-healing powers of the organism can be reactivated through protection and relief, or by using certain techniques to activate stimulus.

For a better understanding, let’s take someone with painful joints and look at different treatment options:

  • An acutely inflamed joint is first immobilised and carefully moved passively under tension.
  • A chronically inflamed joint, on the other hand, is trained appropriately depending on the damage.

In addition, the stimulus strength is individually adapted to the patient and his illness. For example, a vigorous and strong person may take cold showers. Whereas an underweight, weaker person would take warm showers or baths. 

Naturopathy thinks holistically

Naturopathy is considered the “teaching of natural remedies and naturopathic treatments”. Naturopathic procedures traditionally root in different cultures around the world. When it comes to physical complaints or illnesses, naturopathy regularly assumes that the harmonic balance in the human organism is casually disturbed.

The goal of many naturopathic procedures is therefore to restore this natural balance in the body gently. It takes into account the relationships between individual organs but also between the physical level and the mental state of the person. Furthermore, it seeks to identify and treat the causes. Especially, in case of chronic diseases, it is important to recognise the “common thread” that led to the profound imbalance.

Natural medicine procedures

According to a definition by Brauchle in 1952 natural therapies methods include: the sun, light, air, movement, rest, food, water, cold, the earth, breathing, our thoughts, our feelings and processes of will.

“Classic” naturopathy generally includes the following naturopathic treatments:

  • Hydrotherapy and balneotherapy (water treatments)
  • Movement therapy
  • Dietetics: support of the treatments by a healthy diet and a diet adapted to the clinical picture.
  • Order therapy: balanced lifestyle in a regular rhythm and in harmony with nature. Very important as the observing of the patient’s network of relationships.
  • Phytotherapy: use of plants active substances as medicine.

Acupuncture Barcelona Paris

Other methods of naturopathy are:

  • Homeopathy
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine with acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietetics, Qi Gong and Tuina massage
  • Ayurvedic medicine
  • Anthroposophic medicine

How to choose a good naturopath

You can recognise a reputable naturopath as someone that :

  • has successfully completed qualified trainings in the procedures they use.
  • does not offer a variety of treatment methods, but has specialised in a few specific procedures.
  • does not recommend that you stop taking medication that a doctor has prescribed for you.
  • knows their limits and will refer you to a doctor if your disease cannot be successfully treated with their methods.
  • does not give you healing promises.
  • does not advertise with spectacular healing successes.
  • completes regular training programs.
  • does not categorically reject conventional medicine and is also ready to work in cooperation with a doctor.

Today we find many people calling themselves naturopaths after taking some weekend trainings. That’s why it’s always important to inquire about the length and school where the naturopath trained. A comprehensive naturopathic training takes around 20 – 30 months.

Naturopathy is recommended if you:

  • want to change and optimise your diet.
  • suffer from psychosomatic complaints.
  • have sleeping problems.
  • have chronic diseases e.g. rheumatism, gout, arthritis.
  • suffer from acute events such as lumbago or a cold.
  • want to prevent (prophylaxis) and maintain health, e.g. strengthening the immune system.
  • want treatment specifically with a special naturopathic procedure e.g. craniosacral therapy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, yoga therapy, etc.
  • suffer from musculoskeletal disorders such as spinal or joint problems.
  • have skin problems like acne, eczema or psoriasis and are looking for an alternative to cortisone & Co.
  • want to address and heal allergies naturally.
  • suffer from digestive disorders.
  • have autoimmune diseases e.g. Hashimoto, Graves’ disease, etc.
  • feel exhausted and tired.
  • suffer from hormonal imbalances and diseases such as: infertility, PMS, hypothyroidism, endometriosis, PCOS, etc.
Watch Peter Mullen’s explanation of naturopathy

What is Craniosacral Therapy? What are the benefits of it?

What is Craniosacral Therapy? What are the benefits of it?

Craniosacral therapy: What it is

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a subtle, profound body work that balances and harmonizes all levels of a human being. It is an alternative manual treatment that has its origins in osteopathy.

Craniosacral therapy describes the functional unit between “cranium” (skull) and “sacrum”. From top to bottom, both are connected to each other via the spine. The skull and the spine are lined on the inside with membranes. Furthermore, these form the brain and spinal cord skins. It contains the cerebrospinal fluid, which flows around the brain and spinal cord and is in a permanent rhythmic pulsation. Most importantly, it serves as a shock absorber for the protection of our nervous system.

Secondly, and very important, the craniosacral system “CSS” maintains close relationships with the nervous, vascular and lymphatic systems. Moreover, it is connected to the hormonal, respiratory, muscular and skeletal systems. Not to mention that disease or dysfunction can affect the rhythmic harmony and flow of the craniosacral rhythm as well. Equally, disorders within the system can inevitably have serious and often damaging effects on all bodily systems.

What happens during a craniosacral therapy session?

During the treatment, which lasts about one hour, the patient lies relaxed on the massage table. At the beginning of the session the craniosacral therapist usually senses different parts of the body with gentle pressure of 2 – 20 grams. With the aim of receiving information about the harmony, uniformity and quality of the craniosacral rhythm. Given that, we use gentle techniques to resolve those obstacles in the system.

The goal of craniosacral therapy is the integration of body, soul and spirit. This can be achieved by promoting self-healing through self-correction within the body. Over and above that, it stimulates the blood circulation and relaxes the nervous system.

What conditions does craniosacral therapy treat?

The craniosacral system is closely related to all other systems in the body. As a result, by balancing or harmonising the craniosacral rhythm we can always affect the whole body. For this reason, the following list is a small selection of possible applications:

  • Chronic and acute pain conditions
  • Spinal and joint disorders
  • Disc problems
  • Shock, emotional and physical traumas
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatic diseases
  • Hearing and vision disorders / tinnitus
  • Stress
  • Mental disorders
  • Depression / Burnout
  • Exhaustion
  • Sleep disorders
  • Autism

https://www.upledger.com/autism/ 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/28167177

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

https://www.upledger.com/ptsd

  • Headaches and Migraines

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00665236

This is a great video explaining the Upledger approach to Craniosacral Therapy

History of Craniosacral Therapy

When we look at the history of craniosacral therapy, there are three people that need to be honoured and mentioned in order to understand the evolution of this powerful therapy.

Founder of Osteopathy

Dr. Andrew Taylor Still founded osteopathy. His basic principles of osteopathy are still today the basis for understanding the work of osteopathy and craniosacral therapy. Essentially important to him were the following conjectures:

  • The body is seen as an interconnected unit.
  • The body has the ability to regulate itself.
  • Structures and functions of the tissues are in mutual relation.

In 1892 he founded the American School of Osteopathy to transmit his vast knowledge. One of his most important guiding principles to his students was: “Find it, fix it and leave it alone.”

Founder of Craniosacral Osteopathy

One of his students was William Garner Sutherland was deeply fascinated by the anatomy of the skull with all its bones and sutures. His profound research found that pressure applied to different parts of the skull leads to certain emotional states and physical symptoms.

If not making progress with his work he remained in a state of silence to find further impulses and answers to advance his work. That´s why his motto to his students was “Dig on”.  With that, he emphasised that motivation, persistence and patience are needed when working with craniosacral osteopathy.

Founder of techniques of Craniosacral Therapy

The techniques we see today during craniosacral therapy are mostly to honour Dr. John E. Upledger. Resulting from an operation on the dura mater he experienced the craniosacral rhythm and henceforth began a serious study of the writings of Sutherland. In addition, he also did scientific tests using laser to show the movements of the meninges of the skull.

During the years he accomplished his work by the development of the somato-emotional-release. This evolution resulted in a technique that helps the patient to release traumas in a safe container.

His publications and teachings made the craniosacral therapy worldwide known. Today, his school is the leading school for training craniosacral therapists.

 

How would it feel to free yourself from your symptoms?  Ready to change and invest time and energy to get to the root of your problem? Then book your session now. I am looking forward to meeting you.

How to Improve your Fertility Naturally

How to Improve your Fertility Naturally

Many couples having fertility issues or trouble sustaining a pregnancy, decide to receive help from hormonal treatments in reproductive health care. Some also turn to holistic medicines known as alternative, natural, integrative and complementary medicines. Natural therapies have been used for centuries all over the world to improve fertility and they are gaining more and more attention today. The aim of natural therapies is to stimulate the healing power of the body and treat the underlying cause of disease to restore health.

How can natural medicines support the fertility process?

It is important to understand that conceiving is not only a physical process but implies a huge mind-body connection. Besides the absence or unbalance of spermatozoids or ovules, the most common reasons for infertility are related to stress, sleep deprivation, weight issues and cycle confusion, to name a few. Conception is a hugely complex hormonal process (and still to be fully understood) and therefore some imbalances in your body will have an important impact on the success rate.

Natural medicines help restore balance, to create a healthy properly functioning body. This in turn makes conceiving possible, leads you through a good pregnancy, and above all aids in the development of a healthy baby.

In the conception phase, the therapy would typically include advice on changes in lifestyle and diet, use of vitamins and minerals, acupuncture and if necessary herbal medicines and Bach flower essences. It is a gentle approach, non-invasive, and has no side adverse effects. It can be done solely or in addition to a hormonal therapy.

How can Traditional Chinese Medicine help with conceiving?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. Diagnosis and treatment in TCM are based on studying the purpose, flow, and impact of energy in the body. It includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs, moxibustion and cupping, to name a few. The basic foundation for it is that Qi, or life energy, flows through the body. This energy flows in channels also known as meridians that connect all of our organs. According to Chinese medicine theory, illnesses and imbalances arise when the flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked.

In the treatment of fertility issues, acupuncture is said to

  • regulate the female cycle which is a precondition for conceiving.
  • balance hormones, so that ovulation happens or is increased.
  • improve the quality of sperm cells (quantity, motility, morphology) and ovules.
  • support the blood supply to the uterus.
  • increase the thickness of the endometrium.
  • lower stress and anxiety.
  • help with sleeping disorders and weight problems.
  • reduce the side effects of hormonal therapy.
  • improves the chances of successful implantation on the day of embryo transfer.
  • overcome sexual difficulties e.g. impotence, pain during intercourse, etc.

Why is optimising the nutrition important to boost the chances?

Dietary considerations based on Chinese medicine for men and women can significantly increase the chances for a pregnancy. A healthy digestive system allows nutrients to be absorbed and used well. Optimal nutrition provides a high quality of sperm and an optimal ovarian environment for the eggs during the maturation process. It also contributes to an ideal condition in the uterus for implantation of the embryo and development of the baby. Other factors that will be addressed include: being overweight or underweight, digestive issues such as reflux, bloating, bowel disorders, chronic constipations, cravings or low and high appetite. Chinese medicine offers dietary advice with regard to your individual constitution and situation. Sometimes vitamin and mineral supplements will be added.

How can Bach flower essences support the process?

Often while trying to conceive a myriad of emotions are experienced: depression, anxiety, worry, sadness, resentment, jealousy and fear. Dr Bach, a physician and homeopath, discovered and developed a system of 38 flower essences in which each flower relates to a particular characteristic or emotional state. You will receive a unique blend of a combination of flower essences that will address your personality, your emotional needs and goals.

Why do meditation and yoga increase your chances to conceive?

Meditation is the process of quieting the mind through different methods e.g. single-pointed concentration and breath techniques. Scientific studies proved that regular meditation lessens stress, worries, anxiety and supports balanced hormone levels in men and women. Through regular yoga practice cortisol levels will  decrease and consequently the monthly level of luteinizing hormones will increase, leading to healthy ovulation.

Yoga postures are selected based upon your personal condition, and can aid e.g. to balance hormone levels, to improve the blood circulation of the uterus and to support the healing of digestion and sleeping disorders. These postures are a great way to prepare your body for pregnancy as well as lead you through pregnancy in optimal shape. Practicing yoga can also reduce or avoid e.g. miscarriages, the retention of water, tensions and pain syndromes.

What can you expect from a first consultation?

During your first appointment we look at your personal situation, medical history and lifestyle habits. Then follows a treatment and a final discussion about how to proceed and whether herbs and advice on nutrition and lifestyle are necessary.

Also have a look at my other articles about hormones and fertility

Podcast: Chinese Medicine for a Healthy Menstrual Cycle & Fertility

Podcast: An Ayurvedic and Yogic Approach to a Healthy Menstrual Cycle

What are low AMH levels or Anti-Mullerian hormone and how does it affect fertility?

Chinese medicine: How the kidneys influence your fertility

Female Sexuality & Chinese Medicine: Solving Sexual Problems Naturally

Coffee – Is it Good or Bad for your Health?

Ready to change and invest time and energy to get to the root of your problem? Then book your session now. I am looking forward to meeting you.

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