“Naturopathy” and “homeopathy” are words that might be new to many people, so I’d like to talk about them here. Naturopathy is natural healthcare. Naturopathy uses nature to restore and maintain health. It seeks to activate the powerful, safe and effective healing powers of the human body and of nature to correct imbalances and relieve suffering. The Healing Revolution is a naturopathic approach to health and wholeness. Homeopathy is a natural system of medicine that involves administering substances in trace amounts that might cause adverse symptoms in large doses, to activate the body’s self-healing abilities. Homeopathy’s fundamental assertion is that “like cures like.” This principle is similar to vaccinations that introduce pathogens into the body to activate the immune system, although homeopathy is much safer and has no known adverse reactions or contraindications. Homeopathy always works … when you find the right remedies. When I speak to large groups of people, I often ask, “How many people have used homeopathy?” I might see 200 hands go up. Then I ask, “How many people have experienced profoundly positive results from homeopathy?” The same 200 hands go up. Finally I ask, “How many people have taken a homeopathic remedy, and nothing happened?” Then the same 200 hands go up. These remedies are extremely safe and effective; you simply must find the remedies that work best for you. Unlike conventional drugs, these remedies have no negative side effects or risks, allowing you to safely try different remedies until you find that profoundly positive result. Homeopathy builds upon 200 years of data about the human body’s response to natural substances. It comes with none of the surprises that occasionally plague conventional medicine and pharmaceuticals – as happened when doctors discovered that thalidomide caused stunted-limb birth defects, or more recently when hormone replacement therapy was linked to cancer, stroke and heart disease. I am not an extremist and I am grateful for conventional medicine where it is appropriate, but I do advise people to use it with caution because of the high potential dangers. For example, a 2013 study of hospitals in the United States revealed that “premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients was estimated at more than 400,000 per year.” That figure is astounding, making deaths by medical error only slightly less than by cancer or heart disease. American doctors administered more than 4,000,000,000 (4 billion) prescriptions for conventional drugs in 2011, or about 13 prescriptions for every man, woman and child. When taken as directed, these prescribed drugs cause an average of 100,000 deaths each year. Many or most of these drugs are for conditions that could simply be eliminated with healthy lifestyle choices. Whereas conventional medicine frequently suppresses symptoms (such as headaches, skin rashes or fevers), naturopathy and homeopathy seek to address the root causes. Symptoms like pain or swelling – or even emotional responses like anger or depression – are messengers of deeper human needs. They point to root causes. Treating a symptom drives the problem deeper into the body. People who treat psoriasis or skin rashes with medication, for example, are prone to later develop chronic lung disorders or digestive problems, because the root issues have never been resolved. Every symptom communicates something that needs to be expressed, not suppressed. Naturopathy is not opposed to safe and effective conventional medicine. It seeks to unleash a natural dimension that takes healthcare to a higher level. Naturopathic doctors like me help patients in these ways:
- We seek holistic healing (for the whole mind and body), rather than treating a problem in isolation.
- We administer comprehensive whole-person health appraisals to identify health issues, to prescribe appropriate treatment and to recommend helpful lifestyle choices.
- We seek to remove unnatural impediments to the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
- We teach tools and techniques to improve health and wholeness.
- We recommend natural medicines and remedies.
- We prescribe remedies for the person, not for the disease, because we recognize the diverse needs of each individual.
- If appropriate, we refer people to conventional doctors for treatment.
- We empower people to take charge of their health. You are your body’s best doctor.
Naturopathy and homeopathy simply free the human body, mind and spirit to do what they were designed to do, which is to heal naturally and live long and well.
For more information about this topic, see Dr. Frank King’s book, The Healing Revolution: Eight Essentials to Awaken Abundant Life, Naturally.