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What Is Naturopathy? And How Can It Support A Yogi Like Me?

Uncategorized Jul 07, 2023

Naturopathy is an alternative medical system that appreciates the mind, body and spirit. It considers treating the whole person based on their constitution, emotions, experiences, environment, diet and physical symptoms of dis-ease.

Naturopaths have insightful understanding about how to put pieces of the puzzle together to unearth the root cause of dysfunction and look to treat that. It is not about suppressing a cough, but rather soothing the throat and removing what was irritating the lungs in the first place. It is not about numbing pain or masking inflammation, but instead finding what caused it, why it persists and how to resolve the problem to prevent it from coming back. It is an age-old healing practice that nurtures and nourishes the body.

Naturopathy respect to the innate and intelligent healing capability of the body, and merely seeks to facilitate the work of the vital force, prana or qi to restore natural balance, function and energy. Yogis specifically find that this philosophy resonates with them due to the gentle nature of healing and restoration. This not only applies to the herbs we use, but also the rapport and care that naturopaths share with the people they see. Not clients. Not patients. Real feeling, living, people who have to meet the demands of work, pay bills, tend to children, maintain relationships and find their purpose in the world. Every day.

Naturopaths don’t claim to be the answer to all of your problems. But we do help you lighten the load and make things easier where we can. We use and recommend tools such as iridology and pathology tests to better assess what organ or system needs a little TLC. We use herbs, nutrients, massage and exercise, including yoga, to tonify the mind and body. Traditional Ayurvedic, Chinese and European knowledge, and modern scientific understandings of biochemistry, together help naturopaths better understand how herbs help, which is why I consider both when prescribing treatments in clinic.

Using these interventions, naturopaths treat all kinds of conditions, illnesses and diseases from the common cold and asthma to arthritis and fibromyalgia. They can help balance blood sugar to manage diabetes and support healthy weight loss. They support muscle, ligament and bone repair after surgery or injury. Naturopaths even work alongside GPs and prescribed medications to reduce your blood pressure and/or manage your cholesterol to reduce the overall workload placed on the heart. It is truly a comprehensive system of medicine.

A short snippet about me. I have always been drawn to health and wellness. I have practiced yoga on and off since I was 15 years old to keep me toned, injury-free and mindful. Yoga has helped to keep my stress and anxiety levels in check when things get out of hand. It serves as my means of remaining centred and grounded by simply remembering to come back to my breath. Not trying to push or force myself to be someone I am not. Just to take a moment to sit and be still. Or to move gently. Not even to attempt to control the busy mess of thoughts, reminders, dreams, aspirations, self-talk, etc. that creates a constant chatter of white noise in my head. Just to be there with myself.

I’ve been on the mat at Nin Yoga here and there since St Mary’s first opened its doors and have recommended it to friends, family, customers at the health food store, and people at the naturopath clinic ever since.

‘Don’t knock it until you try it’ (or at least learn about it) is my personal attitude. Yoga, barre, Pilates, meditation... if it’s worth a thought, it’s worth a shot. That’s how I stuck to the sport of rock climbing for a year and ended up with a few (surprising) podium finishes in recreational competitions. You’ll often surprise yourself with how capable you are.

From taking Blackmores ginkgo tablets whilst late night cramming throughout the HSC to relying on herbal remedies to help resolve gut and female hormonal issues during my teenage years, this became my passion. Naturally, I wanted to know more and kept learning about the complexities of the human body on a deeper level. 4 year later – after concocting many herbal teas, blending together many herbal tinctures, reading many books, and typing up an endless number of assignments – I qualified with a bachelor’s degree in naturopathy and made my personal interest my professional business to help other people. I have a particular interest in translating technical understandings about gut-brain interactions into practical solutions and remedies for people suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, sleep troubles and fatigue. I find that these often go hand in hand with symptoms of reflux, bloating, abdominal pain, irregular bowel habits, food intolerances or gut parasitic infections. I often share that up to 90% of the body’s serotonin is made within the digestive tract. Serotonin is a chemical messenger within the body that affects our emotions, happiness, learning, memory, appetite and digestion, social interactions and sleep. In other words: a whole lot of what makes us who we are is determined by how happy we are, what we eat, and how well our gut works.

- by Aleisha De Fague

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