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Introduction to Natural Health Philosophy

Lesson 4 - Page 1 of 4

Overview of Lesson

In this lesson we will cover the following:

Natural Health Philosophy

An herbalist recommends a root to stimulate the immune system. An aromatherapist diffuses an essential oil to improve mood. A Chinese physician inserts a needle and a chiropractor manipulates a joint. What do these diverse practitioners have in common? They are all practicing traditional (sometimes incorrectly referred to as "alternative") methods of health care. They are also adhering to a common philosophy—a Natural Health Philosophy.

Natural Health Philosophy refers to the beliefs, concepts, and attitudes held by those who practice natural health care. Since there are many types of natural health practitioners, there are likewise many views regarding what constitutes natural health philosophy. A Chinese herbalists will not necessarily have the same views as an Ayurvedic herbalists. Likewise a naturopathic physician will not agree entirely with a chiropractic physician. However, there are similarities that run through all natural health philosophies and these are what we will focus on in this lesson. It is the tenets that the various philosophies have in common that are most significant, with their differences often being of little consequence.

God heals, and the doctor takes the fees.
Benjamin Franklin

The most fundamental tenet of Natural Health Philosophy is that the body has the capability of healing itself, under the right circumstances of course. Since the beginning of human existence people have observed that cuts, bruises, and even broken bones almost always heal themselves in time. And more often than not the sick person recovers, regardless of (and often in spite of) any treatments administered.

In order for optimal healing to occur there are certain conditions which must be met. A broken bone will heal better if the fractured ends are brought closer together, stabilized, and the body has sufficient stores of calcium and other nutrients necessary to build and repair bone. A bruise will heal quicker if there is sufficient vitamin C in the body. And an individual will recover more assuredly from an illness if the immune system is working as it should, which requires adequate nutritional reserves as well. In addition, there are sometimes obstacles that must be removed before healing can take place. For example, a foreign object must sometimes be removed before a cut can completely heal.

According to natural health philosophy, the role of the healer is three-fold: 1) to locate and remove any obstacles (both physical and emotional) that may prevent proper healing; 2) to supply the body with what it may be lacking due to inadequate intake or assimilation of nutrients; and 3) to educate the patient as to the principles of good health.

What is the most fundamental tenet of natural health philosophy?

The body has the capability of healing itself.
Germs are the cause of disease.
Heredity is more important than environment.