2019 ANPA Student Bursary Submission


Lee Bermingham

Southern School of Natural Therapies


The Harmony of Modern Naturopathy

The natural state of a human being is the harmonious alignment of energies that compose the individual in accordance with the constructive principles of Nature (Lindlahr, 2003). This has not changed since the origins of Naturopathy, which is precisely why the naturopathic approach continues to be as relevant today as it was when “Nature Cure” was first published in 1914 (Lindlahr, 2003). Lindlahr, 2003 describes evil as being the “inevitable result of violations of nature’s laws”. The Naturopathic lineage, rich in traditional philosophy, is an ever-growing ancillary therapy to standard health care in the twenty first century (Xue, Zhang, Lin, Da Costa, & Story, 2007). Existing as the largest group of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners, Naturopaths offer the Australian public approximately 4.9 million consultations annually (ANPA, 2013; Xue et al., 2007). Awareness is growing around Naturopathy as a preventative means of healing by reducing disease as opposed to treating it, to maintain continuous and ebullient good health (Lindlahr, 2003).

Let it be briefly stated that disease, though apparently so cruel, is in itself beneficent and for our good and, if rightly interpreted, it will guide us to our essential faults. If properly treated it will be the cause of the removal of those faults and leave us better and greater than before…Let it also be known that in those who understand and are able to read the significance of premonitory symptoms disease may be prevented if the proper corrective spiritual and mental efforts be undertaken before its onset or aborted in its earlier stages” (The Bach flower remedies., 1997, p. 11)

Historically and at present, two principle ways of treating disease are apparent within the health care system; one preventative and the other combative (Lindlahr, 2003). The latter is commonly favoured by the Western health care systems, whereas conversely, CAM practitioners underpin their practice on disease prevention (Lindlahr, 2003). The combative principle of treating disease generally waits until acute or chronic disease has fully manifested (Lindlahr, 2003). Then, if possible, western health care systems employ the use of problematic drugs, vaccines, antitoxins and invasive surgical operations to subdue the disease (Lindlahr, 2003). These methods are viewed by CAM practitioners as suppressive and destructive when compared to the methods that they employ, whereby an organism is treated within the boundaries of Nature’s intent and methods (Lindlahr, 2003).

The current global non-communicable disease crisis is a barrier to reducing poverty, improving health equity, human security and economic stability (Beaglehole et al., 2011). Measurements to reduce premature death and strengthen primary health care services amongst high risk populations inclusive of individuals with chronic disease is of paramount importance in the future of healthcare (Beaglehole et al., 2011; Reid, Steel, Wardle, Trubody, & Adams, 2016). Preventative therapy methods, utilised by CAM practitioners, recognise intervention prior to disease development as an important way of ensuring the human body is in a normal, healthy condition, thus mitigating the risk of infection, septicity to disease, germs, bacteria and parasites (Lindlahr, 2003).

Naturopathy is a distinct health care profession considered both an art and a science, underpinned by six foundational principles: i) the power of nature, ii) first do no harm, iii) find and treat the cause, iv) treat the whole patient, v) education, vi) prevention (ANPA, 2013). The constructive principle of Nature cure intends to align an individual with the full homeostatic potential of the entire being in accordance with Nature on the physical, mental, spiritual and moral planes of being, focused on evolution, repair and improvement (Lindlahr, 2003). Conversely, a destructive principle in Nature adheres to activity designed to collapse and demolish current forms in conformity with disease states whereby inharmonious destructive principles are applied to an individual’s life (Lindlahr, 2003). Such applications to a human life are undistinguishable with disease and are resultant in the three primary causes of disease; lowered vitality, collection of waste and toxins and alterations in blood and lymph (Lindlahr, 2003).

The laws of cure, aligned with the constructive principles of nature, aim to promote vital force, elimination of waste and supply proportionate constituents to build blood whilst adhering to the foundational principle ‘do no harm’ in an effort to raise the individual to their highest potential (ANPA, 2013; Lindlahr, 2003). Acute disease, such as fever and inflammation, is seen as the result of a cleansing and healing effort, a ‘healing crisis’ of Nature, whereby cure results in readjustment, from abnormal to normal (Lindlahr, 2003). A healing crisis is the body’s indication that there is something antagonistic to health occurring and its efforts are to combat it via so-called ‘acute diseases’ (Lindlahr, 2003). “Poisonous” (Lindlahr, 2003) drugs and unnecessary operations suppress acute disease, destructive to human vitality while water, air, magnetism, scientific food selection, homeopathics, herbal extracts, massage, osteopathic manipulation and constructive thought are Natural methods of living and treatment (Lindlahr, 2003). Furthermore, persistent collections of waste and toxins compromise vital organs, diminishing Nature’s constructive force to respond by acute curative mechanisms, giving rise to chronic disease (Lindlahr, 2003).

The successive history of Naturopathic treatment in acute and chronic conditions is due to the thorough understanding and well applied unity of disease and treatment (Lindlahr, 2003). Medical science shows an inconsistency in the application of the law of cure, overlooking Nature’s efforts in healing, utilising inadequate, suppressive or harmful treatments and regarding inflammation and fever as destructive to health (Lindlahr, 2003). The notion of suppression versus elimination is a central divisionary aspect between preventative and combative treatment approaches. Publications by Dr. Wiley, a Government Chemist, depict the common remedies for colds, catarrh and coughs, all of which contain strong opiates or astringents (Lindlahr, 2003). Such remedies are still evident in today’s society, adhering to the combative nature, suppressing eliminatory activity of membranous linings of the bronchi, lungs, digestive, genitourinary and nasal passages (Lindlahr, 2003).

The well-being of the human body is not dissimilar to the functions of a watch, subject to dysfunction when vibrational harmonics of the planetary universe is altered by for example, the three primary causes of disease (Lindlahr, 2003). All living forms of animal, human and vegetable life are coded by nature to exist for a certain length of time in governance with growth and development, neither exceeding the life span or falling short (Lindlahr, 2003). A great disruption in the laws of longevity is present in todays society, with human life expectancy ranging between 80.4-84.6 years, considerably less than the hypothesised 100+ years (AIHW, 2019; Lindlahr, 2003). The recognisable facts of compromised longevity of the human race are indicative of the abnormal patterning of the life habits of humans, reinstating the necessity of health-reform movements and importance of Nature cure (Lindlahr, 2003). Table 1.0 discusses the primary and secondary disruptions of Natures Law and subsequently, the causes of disease;

Primary causes

  1. Lowered vitality; overwork, nightwork, overstimulation, excess, toxic drugs and unnecessary surgical operations.
  2. Abnormal blood and lymph composition; improper selection of food and lack of organic mineral salts and essential nutritional elements
  3. Build-up of waste; due causes 1 and 2, faulty diet, over eating, alcohol and narcotics, vaccines and suppression of acute disease with drugs and surgical procedures

Secondary causes

  1. Hereditary/constitutional; inflammation due to bacterial or fungal infection and many forms of chronic poisoning
  2. Fevers, skin eruptions, exudates, germs, bacteria and parasites
  3. Medical dislocations of bony edifices, muscles and ligaments
  4. Loss of reason and self control resulting in hypersensitive conditions of nervous breakdown

(Lindlahr, 2003)

The clinical application of Nature cure is demonstrated in a Naturopathic case study by Hatfield,2017 on the treatment of recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms (Sx) in a 22 year
old female. The study outlines the prevalence (one in four) of recurrent chronic UTI Sx amongst the female population between the ages of 20 and 56 (Hatfield, 2017). The conventional treatment of UTI’s with antibiotics is characterised by its flaws; apparent antibiotic resistance and the long-term usage side effects (Hatfield, 2017). This combative treatment approach fails to address the underlying pathology and thus a multidimensional approach is applied In this case study to increase the individual’s resistance and addresses prevention as a key therapeutic strategy (Hatfield, 2017; Lindlahr, 2003). A holistic outlook on the impact of disease is emphasised through the consideration of the patient’s physiological and social health and recognition of UTI comorbidities such as impaired sleep, digestion, lowered vitality and immunity as proponents of ongoing vulnerability (Hatfield, 2017). This study’s intervention is individualised and focuses on the underlying pathologies of the patients presentation addressing; immunity, mucosal health, stress, energy and vitality with diet, supplementation, herbal medicines and self care (Hatfield, 2017).

The developed treatment plan aimed to raise the patient’s vital force through the support of digestive microflora, subsequently facilitating the assimilation of additional nutrients to improve blood constituents (Hatfield, 2017; Lindlahr, 2003). The study addresses the importance of food and drink by increasing foods with high nutrient density and decreasing foods that are considered as triggers to cystitis (Hatfield, 2017; Lindlahr, 2003). This modulation in food intake pays tribute to Naturopathic philosophy through the understanding of internal disease manifestation due to deficiencies and poisons and their implications in blood and tissue deficiency (Hatfield, 2017; Lindlahr, 2003). To address the patients presenting condition additional herbal and specific nutritional supplementation was utilised to assist in the support of the removal of microbial influence, the promotion of the immune system and repair of the urinary mucosa (Hatfield, 2017; Lindlahr, 2003). Lastly the study addresses the spiritual and mental aspects of the patient through time management techniques, manipulative therapies (acupuncture), meditation and yoga (Hatfield, 2017; Lindlahr, 2003).

This naturopathic case study is a clear example of applied naturopathic principles from consultation to treatment through the cessation of the patient’s UTI Sx with concomitants such as improved vitality and decreased stress allowing the patient to rise to their highest potential (Hatfield, 2017; Lindlahr, 2003). Naturopathy’s deep connection to and alignment with nature are vital parts of the future of healing as the primary cause of disease is the violation of Nature’s Laws (Lindlahr, 2003). Naturopathy invigorates and educates humans to live a more simple and natural lifestyle in-place of artificial and unnatural habits, reducing the susceptibility to disease and the restoration of vitality.

References

AIHW. (2019). Deaths in Australia, Life expectancy – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/life-expectancy-death/deaths-in-australia/contents/life-expectancy

ANPA. (2013). Evidence in support of private health insurance rebates for naturopathy. Retrieved from https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/phi-natural-therapies-submissions-containerpage/$file/Australian%20Naturopathic%20Practitioners%20Association.pdf

Beaglehole, R., Bonita, R., Horton, R., Adams, C., Alleyne, G., Asaria, P., … Watt, J. (2011). Priority actions for the non-communicable disease crisis. The Lancet, 377(9775), 1438–1447. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60393-0

Hatfield, D. (2017). Naturopathic treatment of recurrent urinary tract infection symptoms: A case study. Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine, 29(3), 90.

Lindlahr, H. (2003). Nature cure (10th ed.). Retrieved from https://anpa.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Nature-Cure.pdf

Reid, R., Steel, A., Wardle, J., Trubody, A., & Adams, J. (2016). Complementary medicine use by the Australian population: a critical mixed studies systematic review of utilisation, perceptions and factors associated with use. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 16. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-016-1143-8

The Bach flower remedies. (1997). New Canaan, Conn.: Keats Pub. WorldCat.org.

Xue, C., Zhang, A., Lin, V., Da Costa, C., & Story, D. (2007). Complementary and alternative medicine use in Australia: a national population-based survey. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17718647