More of us are suffering and dying from chronic diseases than ever before. Whilst modern medicine is fantastic with acute infections, injuries, diagnostics and life saving surgery; it can, at best only manage the symptoms of chronic disease at huge expense to the taxpayer.
Generally, once prescribed, pharmaceuticals are then taken for life, whilst a naturopathic approach aims to restore proper function so that both drug and Naturopathic treatment can be withdrawn. Unfortunately, due to our reliance on drug medicines, our healthcare system is overburdened and underfunded. Dietary recommendations that offer a one size fits all apporoach are too general and don’t take into account genetic polymorphisms, pregnancy, growth phases, occupational exposures, stress and mental health issues. To effectively treat a chronic disease one must address more than the symptoms. The underlying cause must be uncovered and addressed. Diet, nutrition, exercise, rest, relaxation, social connection, sleep quality, self expression, intellectual stimuli and genetics are all taken into account. Ideally, balance needs to be achieved, in all aspects of life, to achieve wellbeing. A Naturopathic model of healthcare is perfect for the management of chronic illnesses. Chronic diseases are essentially lifestyle diseases, they usually develop after years of denying your body the condtions it needs to thrive. Think of a tree, if a tree is showing signs of diseaase the ideal strategy would be to improve the environmental conditions, eg the soil, rather than remove the diseased bits and hope for good regrowth. Think of yourself in much the same way… If branches on your tree are sick then improve the soil! Medications will never improve the soil , however, they can, if necessary be used to manage symptoms whilst you work to address the underlying causes. Functional foods, individualised dietary and exercise plans, as well as herbal therapeutics, as prescribed by a highly trained practitioner, can be used to improve the quality of your ‘soil’ so that your tree can thrive!