One of the most frequent questions I get asked is can a condition be cured by naturopathic medicine. What does to cure mean? In accordance with naturopathic principles a cure simply represents a return to balance whereas disease is a state of chronic imbalance. At its essence, naturopathic medicine is not so much about treating disease as it is about restoring health. If you restore health by identifying imbalances and correcting them, then disease can no longer exist. Therefore, to cure is NOT to fight disease but to restore wellness. Naturopathic medicine excels in the art of restoring health because all of its fundamental principles, such as addressing the root cause of disease or assisting the healing powers of the body, are in alignment with this very goal. What is important to keep in mind is that the movement towards a cure is as much about what we do or don’t do as it is about what we take. In fact, we can take all the wonderful natural remedies we want, but without changing our habits, priorities and lifestyles, we can at best ask for a natural management of our disease, but not a cure. For some people this goal may be desirable and certainly one can usually reduce further damage by opting for natural remedies rather than harmful drugs.

But a cure is a process that requires commitment to basic pillars of health. Naturopathic medicine is about a partnership between the patient and the practitioner which depends as much upon the patient’s willingness to take part in their cure as it does upon the practitioner to provide sound medical advice. The four basic pillars of health are healthy eating, regular physical activity, mental and emotional balance and restorative sleep. If any of these are significantly neglected then a profound cure would be unrealistic. In this case one is trying to fill a bucket with water without mending the hole in the bottom. The treatment (the adding of water in this case) will be much more successful if the hole has been repaired. If one commits to these pillars and accepts that they are the foundation of health upon which all treatments should be built, then they can fundamentally alter their health. Time and commitment can bring incredible changes to the body, and restore even the sickliest person to balance. Without addressing the pillars of health one may experience a temporary relief or even feel better for that matter, but chronic disease will persist if the key obstacles to cure, the pillars of health, are ignored. For example, herbal remedies can be used to replace anti-histamines and control ones allergies. But why are those allergies there to begin with? Chronic stress, poor sleep and too much sugar may in this case be the culprits. If these obstacles to cure are addressed then it may not even be necessary to take any natural supplements. You can take a natural acid blocker to deal with acid reflux, but this treatment is not a cure. Why the acid reflux? Restoring health can be the most valuable investment you will ever make as not only can it potentially reverse disease, but it will also prevent others in the future. The FOUR PILLARS OF HEALTH are your best life insurance plan, so invest in them. One must change to be changed. In many cases, the body will take care of itself when you take care of it.

This article was written by naturopathic doctor Thalia Charney who practises naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, acupuncture, herbal medicine, intravenous therapy and mesotherapy in Toronto.

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